How to Become a Bestselling Author Overnight in 17 Years

So, you want to be an overnight success? You’re in luck. Here at Lucid Books we’ve put together a few quick and easy steps to help you achieve this goal.

What you’ll need:

  • A healthy sense of self-worth outside of writing
  • 6-8 stellar book ideas
  •  A substantial, growing platform
  •  No notions of grandeur for your first 3 or 4 books
  • Roughly 10 years of patience

Hopefully by this point you have realized that I’m joking. Though this list is accurate, it will not help you get overnight success.

Overnight Success Is a Myth

The truth of the matter is, overnight success is a myth. Most authors write several books no one reads before they write one that many people do. Writers appear to experience overnight success because their first books weren’t read widely.

To be accurate, there are occasionally authors who were literally “nobodies,” and one morning woke up to find their book had sold 100,000 copies overnight. However, this is a rare occurrence.

Rather, just like any other job, writing is work. No matter where writers fall on the success-o-meter, one thing remains the same: all successful authors worked hard and strategically while facing many failures before they found success.

You can’t expect to be a Stephen King, or a Jen Hatmaker, or a Brené Brown right out of the gate. These authors didn’t experience success immediately. Stephen King submitted writing to magazines and publishers for about 20 years before Carrie was published. Jen Hatmaker wrote several books that few people read before 7 was released. And Brené Brown spent years as a researcher before she wrote I Thought It Was Just Me.

What you really need for success as an author

You may not be an overnight success, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be a successful author. You most certainly can achieve success if you have the right team and put in the right work. Here’s what you need to work toward if you want to be a successful author:

  • A specific message for a specific audience
  • Quality design
  • Professional, constructive criticism
  • Relationships and connections with other writers, especially in your field
  • A schedule. You’ll need a writing schedule, a blogging schedule, a social media schedule, a public appearance schedule, etc.
  • You need to write even when it isn’t “fun.” This is your job, not your hobby.
  • You need to market yourself. Your audience wants to hear from YOU, not a publicist.
  • You should never believe you have nothing to contribute since you are just starting out. You have something important to say, so write with confidence.
  • You must work hard from day one. Hard work can’t wait until you’re successful–it is what will help make you successful.

Redefining the idea of the “successful author”

Whether you find a kind of celebrity success as an author, the kind of success that pays the bills, or no monetary success at all, “success” can’t be the reason you write. You may need to redefine what success means for you. Success doesn’t have to be a paycheck or certain ranking with the New York Times. You should write because you have something important to say that someone needs to hear.

The most important thing to remember, and the hardest thing to do, is to find your validity in something other than your success as a writer. There have been many great books that hardly anyone read. The point is someone read them, and was changed by them. That’s success. Not how many copies the authors sold or how much money they made, but that those authors wrote something worthwhile that was read and enjoyed, even if by one person.

If you feel you have something important to say, and you are ready for this kind of success as a writer, let us help you get started. You don’t need an agent or a traditional publisher to find you. At Lucid Books we’ve put together experienced writing, marketing, and publishing teams who can help guide you to success as an author. If you are interested in learning more about Lucid Books, download our free Partnership Publishing Guide. If you are ready to start your author journey today, fill out our Get Started form and a member of our team will contact you.