In addition, most authors don’t realize that their acim will have to compete with about one million other books being published every year. In short, authors need to answer these questions beforehand to ensure their books have a market, they know what that market is, and they know how to reach that market.

How does an author make sure the reading public will want to read his or her book? By making the book relevant to potential readers. How do you make it relevant? By writing about issues that readers care about or current hot topics.

Let’s take well-known author James Michener as an example. Michener had a knack for writing big epic historical novels about specific places. A short list of his many titles include: “Hawaii,” “Poland,” “Texas,” and “Space.” His novel “Hawaii” was published in the late 1950s just as Hawaii was about to become a state, so people wanted to learn more about the future state, resulting in the book becoming a bestseller. Great timing. Michener managed to keep that great timing going throughout his career. His novel “Poland” was published in 1983, in the years when Poland was undergoing political turmoil that would eventually lead in 1989 to Poland shaking off Communism to become a democratic country. Poland was constantly in the news during those years, so it piqued people’s interest and they decided to read Michener’s novel. Again, great timing.

Many other authors will pick a relevant topic in the news and write about it. Anniversary events always generate book sales-on April 15, 2012, we marked the one hundredth anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking; it is estimated that some 100 books were published in the last year to commemorate its sinking. Other popular topics in the news that concern millions of people might include bullying in school, teaching children how to eat healthy foods, what the U.S. needs to do to handle its staggering national debt, Internet dating, corruption in politics, gay marriage, prayer in school, how to be prepared when a tornado hits, global warming, and even the future of 3-D movies.

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