A New York Times Best-Selling Experiment

I have decided to embark on a reading adventure and I’m bringing all you lovely folk along for the ride.

Here’s what’s going down.

I’m always on the lookout for great reads. Plus, I’d love to unearth the secret all those New York Times bestselling authors must be sharing behind closed doors. Because clearly, once I discover this secret, all the difficulties and challenges in my writing life will shrivel up and die.



So with that said, allow me to explain.

Over the next several months, my book selections will be confined to New York Times bestsellers.

Once I choose a book off this coveted list, I will commit to reading the first fifty pages (even if it’s pure torture).

Upon reaching the fiftieth page, I will stop and do two things:

  • Vlog 2 very short reviews based on the first 50 pages
  • Write cliffs notes below each vlog for all you peeps who aren’t into the whole vloggy thing

Review One will be for non-writing readers looking for book recommendations. No writerly jargon allowed.

Review Two will be for writer folk, who like me, wouldn’t mind unearthing the aforementioned secret. In these reviews, writerly jargon is allowed and embraced. I’ll be sharing any valuable lessons I’ve learned during the first 50 pages.

At the end of the post, each book will get a thumbs up, a thumbs sideways, or a thumbs down.

Thumbs up means I can’t wait to keep reading.

Thumbs sideways means I’m going to keep reading, but I’m not in a giant hurry to do so.

Thumbs down means I’m not invested enough to continue.

I’m hoping this adventure will accomplish 5 objectives:

  • expand my reading horizons
  • expose me to some genres I wouldn’t normally gravitate toward
  • train my inner reader to approach books with a learner’s eye
  • share valuable writing tips
  • share great books with great people

How often will I be engaging in this adventure?

I’m not entirely sure. That depends on what’s going down in my life at the moment.

But I have chosen the first book in my adventure!

The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom

It’s ready for pick up from my library as we speak. So join me in the near future as I review the first 50 pages of this NYT bestseller.

Let’s Talk: How do you go about selecting a book to read?

*Photo by JuliaF on stock.exchng

17 thoughts on “A New York Times Best-Selling Experiment

  1. […] Next book in the NYT best selling experiment? […]

  2. […] Wow. Talk about choosing an excellent first book for my NYT Bestselling Experiment! […]

  3. Katie Ganshert

    Thanks for joining in the conversation, ladies! Hope you enjoy the reviews!

  4. What an interesting undertaking, Katie. I’m looking forward to your reviews.

  5. Love this idea and can’t wait to see what you say for us writerly folk. {PS. I love Goodreads for book reviews. My handle is amymacpr. Join me there, won’t you?}

  6. Heather

    What a fun idea! Look forward to hearing your thoughts.

  7. Great idea, Katie. I just decided to start doing reviews on my site, too – probably launch that at the first of the year – so that I can be more effective for readers. I think in light of the whole “Is blogging important for writers/platform?” question of the hour, some changes in our approaches has to occur. I’m looking forward to what you have to share.


  8. Love this idea! Can’t wait to get your thoughts. I’m excited to glean your knowledge without having to read some of those books myself. πŸ˜‰

  9. I usually go by word of mouth and the interest factor: content, cover, and back cover copy.

    Can’t wait to hear your thoughts, Katie!

  10. This is an awesome experiment!! And I love your vlogging, so I’m ten kinds of excited to see what you reveal. And since we so often have similar tastes… this is just a great idea.

  11. Awesome!! I really want to read The Harbinger! Looks really cool. I’ll be watching for your reviews…

  12. This is a fabulous idea! Have fun! I’m looking forward to watching your vlogs πŸ™‚ I love reading books outside my genre. I’ll never forget “The Language of Flowers” and other books like that that open up a whole new world of storycraft.

  13. I get referrals from other ACFW members, or from a writers magazine if the author has been interviewed. I discovered Sarah Addison Allen from Writers Digest and I love her books. Gayle Roper recommended Claire Cook and I love hers. πŸ™‚ Deborah Smith writes Southern Fiction and so does Karen White. There’s a great blog I follow called It’s Only A Novel, and it’s populated by a team of great ABA and NYT Bestselling authors. πŸ™‚

  14. You’re so organized! lol
    I pick books based on premise and sometimes cover. Books of friends are automatic.
    This will be an interesting experiment. Can’t wait to see how it goes!

  15. I’m all over the place with how I find books to read. Sometimes it’s a cover that catches my eye as I walk past the bookshelves at Target, or an intriguing title on the spines of the new releases at the library. I also seek out recommendations from bloggers, and I am forever stumbling upon interesting novels from the email ads I get from Barnes and Noble, as well as Goodreads recommendations. I’m obsessively proactive about it. (In another life I should have been an agent. I love finding buried treasures, lol.)

    I think your experiment will be a fun way to expand your horizons. One of my favorite things to do is to read a bestseller simply for the reason of studying the craft and trying to learn why so many readers are drawn to the story. I look forward to what you share here. I’m onboard for the writerly-folk reviews of course. πŸ˜‰

  16. Ooh, sounds like fun! As for how I choose books to read, lately, there have been sooo many fun books released either from writing friends or familiar names that my list has been endless. But like you, at some point I want to expand to and read more outside my usual selection…maybe I’ll get some good ideas from your reviews!

  17. Fab. Can’t wait to hear all about it.


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