Guest post: What’s the secret to writing a #1 Bestseller? by Kimberley Young

6 Oct

Today I’m delighted to be hosting the second stop on Josephine Cox’s Lonely Girl blog tour.  Josephine is one of the UK’s biggest and best-loved authors, and is consistently a number 1 bestseller. She has sold over 20 million books, was recently awarded the prestigious RNA Lifetime Achievement Award and is one of the most borrowed authors in UK libraries. Josephine’s editor (and all round lovely lady!) Kim Young from Harper Collins is joining me today with a fab post on working with Josephine and that special magic that creates a number one bestseller! Welcome Kim.

Picture 065Jo Cox is without doubt one of the nation’s favourite number one bestselling authors! It’s such a privilege to publish Jo’s books – not only is Jo a huge amount of fun to work with, she’s so hardworking and absolutely dedicated to her readers. Jo gets more fan mail than any other author I know, and come rain or shine, tight schedules or gruelling book tours, Jo replies to each and every one of her readers personally with that special magic that only Jo can bring.

As a publisher I often get asked, what’s the secret to writing a bestseller? For me Josephine Cox has that magic combination – she’s a natural born storyteller, she puts the reader into her character’s shoes so that you laugh with them and cry with them. Jo herself has an incredible work ethic and a connection with her readership that has spanned decades and generations.

It is huge fun working with the team on Jo’s publications – we publish her hardback in spring and the paperback follows in late autumn. This means double the work to make sure that every detail is right – from the cover to the publicity plans, from the supermarket orders to the marketing ideas. There is a big team behind the scenes that works on Jo’s novels, whether that means talking to the designer about the right shade of foil finish for the cover (the blue on Lonely Girl is my favourite!) or working on Chatterbox, the fun newsletter we send out to Jo’s fans with over 20, 000 subscribers, we work around the year.

Everyone at HarperCollins knows that Jo is a huge fan of Christmas – even our CEO comes along for a carol or two for our Christmas lunch with Jo in December! This year we came up with the idea that as that we would run a competition with Tesco for one of Jo’s readers to win £1000 of vouchers to make their Christmas dreams come true! It’s the sort of idea that takes a lot of work from all sorts of people behind the scenes to make real – but when we see Jo hand over a GIANT cheque to one of her readers and take the worries of the Christmas bills away, it will make it all worthwhile. I can’t wait!

Jo’s latest book is, incredibly, her 51st novel, and Lonely Girl has many of the ingredients that has helped Jo grow an incredibly loyal readershiplonely girl over the years – heartbreak and loss but with a glimmer of hope and happiness. I always have a tear in my eye when I read the ending of one of Jo’s books, but I’ve always laughed along the way as well! Jo Cox keeps it real – she knows that life isn’t full of daydreams and happy endings, and that into each life, rain will inevitably fall. But with courage and determination, and family and friends by your side, anything is possible. That’s the essence of Jo’s world for me, and it’s one I’m very proud to be a part of!

Lonely Girl is released on Thursday 8th October in Hardback and ebook formats from HarperCollins.

Find out more about Josephine Cox and her writing at:

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