One reason for the Beatles’ success, I read somewhere, was the many, many hours they spent as a back-up band and working small gigs. This gave them the practice to hone their ability and produce the professional polish to reach worldwide success.
Add to this a report I once read about businesses in a certain area of Virginia. The report clearly showed that the longer a company was in business, the more the number of employees and the higher the earnings.
I’ve been watching a Great Courses series on writing fiction with James Scott Bell . In one segment, he says that no one knows what makes a bestseller. Despite all the effort at marketing and promotion, the best a writer can do is write and keep writing. Perhaps his work will take fire, but most often, it will not. There’s no magic formula for bestselling success in fiction.
Earl Stanley Gardner, author of the Perry Mason series, realized at one point that if he
wanted to make a living wage with his writing, he would have to increase production. He hired three secretaries to take dictation from him so he could be writing several novels at once.
My seventh novel, The 90s Club & the Mystery at Lilac Inn, came out in September, and I am seeing an increase in sales. Why? Because I have more to sell. Also, I am becoming a better writer, thanks to critique groups, workshops, chapter meetings, and conferences sponsored by MWA.
Even so, beyond all the efforts at marketing and promotion, what will make a successful writer is still persistence, practice, and production.