The best time to write a novel; a year ago. Second best? Right now.

For a bit this summer, I was more working on writing a novel than anything else. As a result, I finished up in the top twenty on Amazon for a category, which was thrilling, and had one amazing day where I moved over fifty copies. It was short lived and sales have come back down to more stable level.

However, at the time – wow. One of the things I learned was via Smashwords, that the best time to write a novel was a year ago. They have some eye opening stats about what sells, what doesn’t and what a few characteristics of best sellers are, at least from their vantage point. They have data from every major etailer, aside from Google, so it’s worth considering when Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords, shares something – well, it’s like the a trusted friend telling you how to make an epic burger. Even if you have a tried and true recipe, you’ll at least consider the ideas. Right? The second best time to write a novel is now.

Of course. I know great ideas are all around us, and none of us has a monopoly on good ideas. When exposed to good ideas, I like to think about them, consider them and if I have time, act on them. My novel, like the others I wrote, was too short. A simple story, in many ways, with very little in terms of subplot, side story, etc. However, I enjoyed the telling and the reviews were entertaining. A dozen or more people shared that they were delighted with the book and yes, would consider buying a sequel.

Blogging here, instead of elsewhere, is a reminder to me that writing only takes a minute. Perhaps ten, or twenty but it’s not an activity that has to consume you, that pushes aside the rest of life. With a few minutes and a keyboard, anybody can tell a story.

I’m a picky reader. If I could do one thing in the literary world, it would be to encourage more people to write, to share their stories. Why? Am I begging for competition, for lowered sales? Nope. I want more good books. I’m not convinced, like ideas, a great book can only come from a certain place, person or entity. Anybody can tell a good story.

“If there’s a good book you want to read, but nobody wrote it, then you must write it.” – Toni Morrison.