Is your book selling like shit?
Probably because it's well-written. Or long. Or, you're not a celebrity. But that doesn't mean you can't make your next book a bestseller!
If you're writing non-fiction it's easy. Just pretend you hung out with God once and he's for realz, or that you have some quick weight-loss plan, or you know a way to make me a happier person (Step One: Read your book)*. Today, however, we're talking about fiction. Not real-life stuff. Like the time you hung out with God.
When someone tells me their life is "stranger than fiction," I'm not impressed. Most fiction isn't that strange. (And, most people's lives are pretty goddamn boring.) Most fiction is just generic. Which is what genre fiction is: generic fiction. You want to have a bestseller, pick a well-worn genre--horror, detective, legal thriller--and write the most bland story ever. You might think combining several genres will make the blandest book possible, but you'd be wrong. Two wrongs don't make a right but two blands do make something fairly inventive. Too inventive to sell.
Just like in the movies, sequalizations are also king. Especially, when you can add a parenthetical to the title:
BOO COCKY! (A John Glass Thriller)
By book five in your newly-created bestselling series you won't even need to write them yourself any more.
H8 CRIME (The Fifth Book of the John Glass Thrillers)
An Aaron Goldfarb book
written by Sam Stank
Novels about how tough it is to be a girl are swell too. You know, with all the having to wear the right shoes and stay skinny and shop til you drop and find Mr. Right and actually be good in bed. These books especially sell well when they have a hot pink cover. On the other hand, there's never once been a best-selling book about how tough it is to be a guy. Unless you count "Decision Points." Remember, men don't read books so don't write for them.
When all else fails, have vampires making out. Young, toned, nubile vampires. They should be straight, though the men can be effete (and capable of being played by a homosexual actor in the movie adaptation) and the women can occasionally "experiment" in an erotic fashion. They should never go beyond first base though. Any way, vampires surely give terrible head and talk about vagina dentata!
You may say, by the time my book is out, vampires will already be a tired genre. Then what else? Wolfmen making out? Maybe in the 70s, but not in today's wax-centric culture. Zombies?! They don't even have brains--and making out without brains is no different than a loathsome frat mixer. Ghosts? Too non-tangible. Mermaids and mermen?!? Naw, too scaly.
Any how, it doesn't really matter if vampires are a tired genre by the time your book is done. In fact, it's even better. As I said, bland genre stories always sell, so, when all else fails:
Vampires making out.
*Conversely, I'd be a happier person if you read my book: