Reinventing Success

Are you tired of laboring in obscurity? Maybe you’ve been following some bad advice. A lot of authors will tell you, “Don’t write for an audience. Write the book you want to read.”

That’s great advice if you don’t want an audience. If you want one, you have to write for them. Wake up, Skippy. Writing is a business.

It’s a long standing tradition in the business world to take two things that already exist, slap them together and call them something new. Both steam and boats had already been invented by the time Eli Wallach got the idea to put them together to invent the airplane.

You can do the same thing. Take two book ideas that have already proven successful and put them together into your own brand-spanking new book. I checked the New York Times (a publication of some sort), to see which titles are the top five bestselling mass market paperbacks. I’ve listed those below, each with its description. Beneath each title, I’ve re-invented each book with a new description, using proven bestseller plots just to demonstrate how easily this can be done.

THE LITIGATORS, by John Grisham. (Dell, $9.99.) Partners in a small law firm take on a big case after a fast-track burnout joins them.

JURASSIC LITIGATORS, by You. (Evil Mastermind Press, $9.99.) Partners in a small law firm fight to get giant prehistoric carnivorous reptiles on the endangered species list, against the wishes of the inhabitants of an obscure island.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, by Danielle Steel. (Dell, $7.99.) Three very different people — a woman, her daughter and a former football player — arrive at their own crucial turning points on the same day.

THE ORDER OF THE HAPPY BIRTHDAY, by You. (Evil Mastermind Press, $7.99.) Three very different people — a red-haired guy, a guy with glasses, and a chick  — arrive at their own crucial turning points on the same day while graduating from wizard school.

LETHAL, by Sandra Brown. (Grand Central, $7.99.) A woman, her daughter and a desperate man accused of murder evade the authorities as they search for her dead husband’s secrets.

50 SHADES OF LETHAL, by You. (Evil Mastermind Press, $7.99.) Two sexy women and a sexy desperate man accused of murder evade the sexy authorities as they all have sexy sex.

SAFE HAVEN, by Nicholas Sparks. (Grand Central, $7.99.) The arrival of a mysterious young woman in a small North Carolina town raises questions about her past.

UNSAFE HAVEN, by You. (Evil Mastermind Press, $7.99.) The arrival of a mysterious young woman in a small North Carolina town raises questions about her past. Mostly because she is an emo teenage vampire groupie.

PRIVATE GAMES, by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan. (Vision, $9.99.) A journalist and a member of the private investigative firm pursue a murderer who is trying to destroy the London Olympics.

PRIVATE HUNGER GAME OF THRONES, by You. (Evil Mastermind Press, $9.99.) A journalist and a member of the private investigative firm are forced to compete to the death against a backdrop of medieval intrigue.

See how easy that is? You’re welcome.

Author: Stephen Hise

Stephen Hise is the Evil Mastermind and founder of Indies Unlimited. Hise is an independent author and an avid supporter of the indie author movement. Learn more about Stephen at his website or his Amazon author page.

24 thoughts on “Reinventing Success”

  1. Sarcasm doesn’t translate well to pure text, but I have a strong feeling you’re being sacrastic. What the world of books definitely needs is more pulp. The more low-quality, low-effort pulp there is, the more chance we can all get people who don’t read books to start reading them–which is our ultimate collaborative aim in the strangely non-competitive business of writing. But I’m being sarcastic as well. The more garbage gets published, the more existing readers get discouraged from ever buying books again, and the more people who were curious about books turn away disappointed and don’t buy the next book on the market, which might actually be good. I’m trying to fight the trend by writing quality and to hell with using gimmicks to sucker people into being disappointed that they wasted money on a book.

    1. Really? You weren’t sure it was sarcasm? tsk tsk Did you look at the byline? Stephen Hise is the king of snark, and we love him for it! LOL Where you see the name, just buckle up and enjoy the ride!

  2. Yep, writing is a business. I write what I love, and I write what sells under my name and pen names. Sometimes the two spheres of love and selling meet. Sometimes they don’t, and I’m fine with that. Works great. 🙂

    1. Well, Mr. Hose (see what I did there? Took two names and made one!) made me smile, which, today, was a miracle. THEN I realized I’ve done exactly what he suggests here in my books, the series called The Blood Alchemists. It’s GRRM kind of fantasy with my own kind of vampire and the frist book, The Blood Alchemists Book One:Mercury, is on Kindle and Smashwords. What fun!

  3. Why stop at books? I see a whole new series of Reality programs! Big Brother Is Watching You Dancing, Hell’s Kitchen Makeovers, American Idol’s X, The Next Top Kardashian, the Jersey Bachelor Swap and Biggest Celebrity Loser.

    1. Big Brother is Watching You Dancing is sadly something I wouldn’t be surprised to see on tv next. I saw on Funniest Home Videos a family taping themselves watching tv. I don’t know why they were doing that, but what made it hilarious is that a cat walked across the couch behind them, caught his tail on fire in a candle, and fell off the couch, all the while the family stared straight ahead in oblivion.

  4. Not all of us consider writing a business.

    Quoting an Irish novelist who said this yesterday in a private discussion about this topic, “One academic friend said to me recently that she couldn’t read Wood Point. She was going on about the craft of writing. Which is an academic term for the commercialisation of a manuscript. Hats off to the editor that ties a leash around my throat and pulls me back. For me, craft is the dissolution of passion. The triumph of presentation over substance. If you’re writing for pop culture, craft is the key. But if you are making passionate statements about the world we live in, then it is passion I want to see!

  5. I think we should do it here:

    JOE CAFE, by J.D. Mader ($3.99). A stripper, a killer, a cop, a mobster whose lives become intertwined, with harrowing and sometimes surprising results.

    JOE THE PLUMBER CAFE by You ($3.99). A plumber stumbles on a disastrous election campaign and finds redemption when he encounters a defeated cop.

  6. And what about Vampire Celebrity Chef? Sell raffle tickets and molest/blood suck the lucky winner!

  7. A good laugh, thanks. I’ll go back to your first statement.

    That’s great advice if you don’t want an audience. If you want one, you have to write for them. Wake up, Skippy. Writing is a business.

    If you don’t consider your reader when writing your book, you aren’t going to satisfy them. That doesn’t mean pandering to them, but if you write a romance that has an unhappy ending, you aren’t writing for the romance reader. If you write a mystery without setting up the ending, your readers will be disappointed. And don’t try to write a thriller with out big stakes and lots of action.

    Now I’m off to write Private Hunger game of thrones.

  8. LUST FOR DANGER, by K.S. Brooks ($3.99). A renegade Special Agent takes on a terrorist faction threatening to commit mass murder on a chilling scale.

    LUST FOR TWILIGHT by You ($3.99). A renegade Special Agent must retrofit all her weapons to take on an army of sparkly vampires.

  9. I needed a good laugh this morning… My wife came in to see what was so amusing. And you’re right, Jacqueline, ‘Evil Mastermind Publishing’ does have a hellofa ring to it!

  10. EM Publishing- funny!
    Here were some “new” sequel movie titles we cooked up in the car on the way home from town yesterday:

    George Washington, Werewolf Murderer
    JFK, Zombie Slayer

    Shhhh, don’t tell Hollywood!

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