Transform Your Novel with These 7 Editing Tips for Bestselling Success, part 2 of 4

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Transform Your Novel with These 7 Editing Tips for Bestselling Success, part 2 of 4 – How To Write the Future podcast, episode 91

“Creativity is our superpower. With the power of our imagination and bringing in curiosity, courage, compassion, and connection.”

Transform Your Novel with These 7 Editing Tips for Bestselling Success, part 2 of 4, in episode 91, of the How To Write the Future podcast. Host Beth Barany talks about what it takes to be a bestseller, why not every writer wants to be a bestseller plus the benefits and different ways to build a fanbase and market your books. There’s also a special invitation to work one-on-one with Beth or sign up for her mastermind group program.

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About the How To Write the Future podcast

The *How To Write The Future* podcast is for science fiction and fantasy writers who want to write positive futures and successfully bring those stories out into the marketplace. Hosted by Beth Barany, science fiction novelist and creativity coach for writers. We cover tips for fiction writers. This podcast is for readers too if you’re at all curious about the future of humanity.

This podcast is for you if you have questions like:

– How do I create a believable world for my science fiction story?

– How do figure what’s not working if my story feels flat?

– How do I make my story more interesting and alive?

This podcast is for readers too if you’re at all curious about the future of humanity.

Transcript for Transform Your Novel with These 7 Editing Tips for Bestselling Success, part 2 of 4 

Welcome to the second part of limited series on how to transform your novel with seven editing tips for bestselling success.

Hi everyone. I’m Beth Barany. I am the podcast host of How To Write The Future, a podcast for science fiction and fantasy writers who want to create positive optimistic stories because when we vision, what is possible with our stories, with our imagination, we help make it so. My goal in this limited series is to help you with overview tips, with editing tips that are high level at this point to give you a focus so that you could transform your amazing first draft because you wrote a first draft, so you can transform that amazing first draft into just this polished gem that your readers will love.

Last week I talked about how we write for ourselves. And we edit for our readers. And how writing is rewriting. Stay tuned to the end where I have a special invitation for you about if you’d like to work further with us in our 12-month group mastermind.

Today I’m going to talk about what does it take to be a bestseller. And I just want to focus on the fact that not everyone wants to be a bestseller. I totally get that. And let’s pause for a minute. And think about the word bestseller.

This is all about selling books. And who is going to buy our books? We don’t know yet. Often we don’t know. And who does the buying? Well, other people. So we actually cannot control being a bestseller, but we can set up ourselves the best way possible. And we can do the work, which is mostly marketing work and it happens, it starts to happen while we’re in edits. And of course, you can be thinking about this from day one. But a lot of writers don’t. A lot of writers are just thinking about writing that book. Writing their first draft. And that is enough to think about. 

So I was like that too. And that’s totally fine. And when you’re editing, like I said earlier, you write for yourself and you edit for your reader. So now as you enter the editing phase, this is a great time to think about what do you want to do you want to be a bestseller. Do you just want to sell a hundred books? 500 books, a thousand books? Or would you be happy with, you know, selling them to your friends and family or something in your local community or at your local bookshops? Think about what it is that you want. Now a lot of people are attracted to being in bestseller.

I am too. I want to sell a lot of books. Absolutely. So what goes into it?

And here’s my made-up pie chart. I think that a good portion of anybody’s success is luck. I randomly picked 10%. But as you may have heard, we can set ourselves up for luck. And what I’m going to talk about next will help us do that.

Pre-existing fan base

If you come from another profession where you are in the public eye, you have a preexisting fan base. If you have a mailing list from a previous business, you have a preexisting possible fan base. Gather a list of everyone you know, friends and family, colleagues, people who you go play, um, bowling with, or a knitting circle or the after-school community, if you’re a parent.

Think about who you already know that you could ask them if they wanted to be notified when your book came out. That’s your pre-existing fan base.

Word of mouth 

The ability to generate word of mouth is huge. Actually, it probably should have made it more than 10%. But, with word of mouth, this comes with preparing marketing that perks people up. And then they got to tell their friends and there’s a lot of ways to generate word of mouth. But that’s something to think about how, what are the things that you pass on word of mouth?

What makes you want to pass them forward to your friends? Oh, did you see the latest episode, about Suits? I know Suits had a revival in Netflix. Do oh, did you, did you see the latest Marvel’s movie? And have things to say about that, or, oh, there’s this old TV show making a, a revival.

Did you see that? And why do we talk about it? So think about what gets you talking about the things that you love and why do you pass them on.


If you’re into advertising and learning how to do Facebook ads and Google ads and Amazon ads and whatever ads pop up in the future. Then that will. Impact your ability to reach more people. Now doing advertising is very, um, numbers focused.

Honestly, I am not a numbers person, so I’m no expert on ads. But think about if you are interested in ads, there’s a lot of people who offer how to do ads for authors. And that is a venue that will boost your visibility and increase the chances of being a bestseller.

Also, if you could write fast to the trends.

So, number one, if you can pay attention to what the trends are, figure out how to figure those out, and then write in three to six months. Usually even the fastest writers I know who are professional writers, they’ll take six months to go from idea to publication. So that’s very fast. There’s a lot of iterations.

There’s writing the book and editing the book and all the marketing pieces and all the editing layers. And that’s one way that you can increase your chances of being a bestseller.


And then lastly, persistence.

You’ve probably heard the expression: oh my goodness. She is an overnight success. 

It only took her 15 years. I seen this at time and time again, in the over 25 years, I’ve been working diligently on being a novelist is this kind of story. So sticking with it, learning. Learning how to edit, learning, how to market. Learning how to be faithful to your own creative process. Persistence. Sticking with it.

Today. I also want to pop in quickly and talk to you about the importance, the importance of being an avid reader.

I encourage you to read widely all kinds of things. Fiction nonfiction, short, long. I encourage you to read deeply in what you’re writing. Know it well. It doesn’t mean you have to read everything in your genre, but read a lot in your genre and read analytically, sometimes. Ask questions.

Oh, wow. That’s really cool. How did they do that?

Get your analytical critical mind thinking about the craft of writing.

And then also be sure to read as a fan. Notice when a story pulls you in. And we’ll let you go and just enjoy it. Just be in that experience. So important to read as fan.

And all of this is so that you can also read your first draft with curiosity and discernment.

And when you can do that, you’re on your first step of the editing process. If you are not able yet to read your manuscript with curiosity and interest and discernment, then you may not be ready to edit the book because you need a little bit of distance.

All right.

So today I talked about my thoughts on being a bestseller also on being an avid reader, the importance of that.

And now I’m going to give you my special invitation.

So I’d like to invite you to check out our mastermind. Our 12-month group mastermind for science fiction and fantasy writers.

If you have a finished first draft, a beautiful, messy first draft, then first off, congratulations. And then second off, if you are ready to edit that manuscript and you want support and you want to turn it into a publish-ready manuscript, then consider joining us for our 12-month group mastermind.

It is where we teach you and coach you how to develop that discerning eye. So you can do story edits and line edits on your own story.

Now, what would life be like if we had no courage to attempt anything? Thank you Vincent Van Gogh for that quote. What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?

Courage is so key to the work we do as creatives, any creative endeavor.

Creativity is our superpower. With the power of our imagination and bringing in curiosity, courage, compassion, and connection. Connection to ourselves, compassion for ourselves and our book, courage to step into the unknown. And curiosity asking questions.

How do we do that? How could I do that for me? How do I make that work for me?

This is my stance. This is our stance. In the work we do with writers.

So if you’re curious in joining our 12th month group mastermind for science fiction and fantasy writers. So we can help you edit your manuscript and transform it into a published-ready masterpiece. Then I encourage you.

Here’s my special invite. My special invitation is to reach out and email me or set up a complimentary discovery call. I only have three spots right now left in this group program. And if you are interested in only working with me, one-on-one I have a program for that as well. And I only have one spot for that. All right.

That’s it for this week. Stay tuned till next week when I will talk to you about the 

importance of knowing your genre and a few other tips. So stay tuned. And everyone, thank you so much for listening. Your words, your stories are key to helping the world be a better place. All of our stories are. So I encourage you to keep writing. Please like and share and subscribe, wherever you’re getting this podcast. And please do share with a friend who you think would benefit from this material.

All right, everyone. That’s it for this week. Write long and prosper.

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Image of Beth Barany

Beth Barany teaches science fiction and fantasy novelists how to write, edit, and publish their books as a coach, teacher, consultant, and developmental editor. She’s an award-winning fantasy and science fiction novelist and runs the podcast, “How To Write The Future.”


Learn more about Beth Barany at these sites: 


Author siteCoaching site / School of Fiction / Writer’s Fun Zone blog


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