Some lessons from Tom Clancy’s first novel

tom-clancy-the-hunt-for-red-octoberTom Clancy is one of the biggest authors of our time. How did he break in? It’s an interesting story that Deborah Grosvenor, the editor who acquired The Hunt for Red October (Clancy’s first book), tells here.

And this early interview provides more insights.

So what conclusions can you draw from this? Here’s what I picked up.

1. Writing a good book is one thing. That book finding success is quite another.

2. Endorsements from the right people make a huge difference. More here in my blog Is Product Popularity Random?

3. Know what you write. And if you don’t know it, do the research. And then invent what you have to.

4. It’s not always a bad thing to start with a small press, especially if they’re going to put as much $$ into marketing and PR as this one did.

5. To finish your novel, you’re going to have to set aside time and get it done.

6. Finally, follow the zing. Clancy loved this stuff. Notice how his book was fed by the stories he heard and read.

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