Faye Arcand, My Twisted Writer Brain…

Tips on How To Succeed As an Author with Bestselling Author Jonas Saul. Part 2

Here a bestselling author will inspire and energize you. He’ll tell you exactly what you have to do to be a successful author and it has nothing to do with others and everything to do with you.

Jonas Saul is a bestselling author represented by Gandolfo Helin and Fountain Literary Management https://ghliterary.com as well as Vesuvian Media Group http://vesuvianbooks.com/jonas-saul/

It wasn’t always that way though as he struggled through the years to find an agent.

By 2010, I had nothing left but my imagination. So, without any way to “break” into the publishing industry and with nothing to lose (I literally had nothing to lose), I self-published a book of short stories, and two novels in February, 2011. And they started to sell …

Jonas https://ghliterary.com/clients/jonas-saul/ moved forward in his writing journey and has now written over thirty books. The latest release is part of the popular Sarah Roberts thriller action series:

He’s currently living in Greece on an extended writing sabbatical. I can’t wait to see what he comes out with next.

Jonas and I have known each other as friends and colleagues for the last few years. Check out his great list of writing tips published in the last My Twisted Writer Brain blog https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/fayeearcand.com/2066.

Today I’d like to share his thoughts on what it means to be an author and the various stages or levels of his chosen profession.

He writes:

In the publishing industry, allow the odds to inspire you, not deflate you.

Based on Codex research, a person typically reads an average of three books by an author before becoming hooked on that author’s books. So once you’ve written three books,  you’re just getting started. Then write more and keep going because your readers will need more as they’re now hooked on you. 

For every million manuscripts in search of a publisher in the US, only 1% will be picked up. Of that 1%, only 30% will turn a profit.

This shouldn’t discourage a serious writer. Just write a good book—and be that 1% that gets picked up. Then write more and be inside that 30% that turns a profit.

I don’t have an MFA (Master of Fine Arts) and yet I have sold almost three million books and make a living at this job.

You can, too. Of this, I have no doubt. Do you? Only 200 – 220 books make the NY Times Bestseller list each year. This rate is less than one-half of one percent of books published. So? What does it matter? Absolutely nothing. How did those authors do it?

They wrote books.

They were prolific.

They were dedicated.

They couldn’t stop.

Their books are filled with emotion and tension and are professionally edited and on and on … so just do that.

Don’t emulate another writer’s words or their voice, emulate their business model. Because after all, this is a business and you must treat it as such and cultivate your readership.

Have genuine care and concern for your readers. They mean something to you, as they should.

The Levels of an Author

Level 1: The author talks about writing a lot. Think they have a book inside them. One day, though. One day.

Level 2: Starts to write. Talking is over.

Level 3: The first draft is done on novel number one.

Level 4: Multiple drafts are done as the author has become prolific.

Level 5: Published. Traditionally or through self-publishing, the author is now available for public consumption.

Level 6: Multi-Published. The state of having more than one book available for public consumption.

Level 7: Best-seller level. In this industry, it’s a gamble. No one understands it, nor can they manipulate it. Although, bear in mind, all the other levels have to be there for this one to exist. You can’t have a runaway bestseller without having written the book and out for public consumption.

(P.S.: bestsellers are all emotion laden novels and I can prove it. There have been studies done on Dan Brown’s books and it’s been found that on average, he writes a word that references emotion or speaks directly about emotion at least four times per page, per novel. There’s a reason the world loves his novels, even if his writing or his style has come into question in the past.)

The author, and only the author, is in charge of moving up through these author levels at their own pace. Consider this business is an equivalent to the hundred-yard dash. You see the finish line, why not run toward it? Why trod slowly? Although, when you get there and you have finished the hundred-yard dash, you will realize it’s not the finish line after all—it’s just the beginning.

Finally, as you rise through the author levels, the number of author there with you will drop off quickly as each level is within your grasp.


I’d like to thank Jonas Saul for sharing his thoughts and wisdom. I appreciate his professional approach to writing and would definitely recommend his books.

15 thoughts on “Tips on How To Succeed As an Author with Bestselling Author Jonas Saul. Part 2”

  1. Great tips in both of these posts. Thanks for sharing Jonas’ wisdom. Now … how about some similar interviews with successful writers of nonfiction, poetry, memoir, etc? I know many of Jonas’ tips are also good for non-novel writers (I picked up some great ideas at seminars he’s led … and now from these posts) but how about some specific tips for other types of writing? You do great freelance writing (columns, articles, etc.) I bet you know people in those areas–or, of course, yourself–who can provide excellent tips. Thanks!

      1. Hi Aggie. Yes. He’s done well but we also know how hard he’s worked. With him it’s like an obsession to get the stories out. Finding that dedication and drive definitely help. I have is most of the time but it wanes….then kicks back in. lol. Thanks for commenting Aggie. So appreciated.

  2. Great advice, as usual. In an article I read, it said financially successful authors (earning over $5,000 per month) have published 13.75 books. Emerging authors (earning less than $500 per month) have published 7.4 books. Jonas is definitely in the successful author category.

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