Tuesday, September 2, 2014

How to Become an International Bestseller in 8 Steps!

1. Write novels about famous maligned women in history and Tudor spies.

C.W. Gortner tells the stories of famous historical figures as you've never heard them before. The Last Queen (Ballantine 2008) is about “Juana La Loca,” the last queen of Spanish blood to inherit her country's throne. The Confessions of Catherine de Medici (2010) is about the last legitimate descendant of the Medici line who became—according to some—a most ruthless queen of France. The Queen's Vow (2012) is about Isabella of Castile, the warrior-queen who sent Columbus to America. In 2016, Ballantine will publish a stunning, new Gortner novel about Lucrezia Borgia, daughter of Italy's first crime family.

Gortner's The Tudor Secret (St. Martin's Press 2011), The Tudor Conspiracy (2013), and The Tudor Vendetta (forthcoming October 2014) follow the story of a spy in the Tudor court during the reigns of Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I.

Gortner's next novel, coming from William Morrow in March 2015, imagines the life of the woman who revolutionized fashion, built an international empire, and become one of the most influential and controversial figures of the twentieth century—Coco Chanel! Look out for Mademoiselle Chanel in the spring!

2. Make them good.

Simply put, Gortner's “meticulously researched,”1 “page-turner”2 novels “spi[n] grand tale[s] of opulence and deception, privilege and destruction, madness and fragile love”3 that “captiv[ate] audiences with their complexity,”4 “com[ing] together with a beauty and passion that can't be found anywhere in the pages of history books”5; they are “masterwork[s] by a skilled craftsman...that will delight romantics and historians alike.”6

1. Publishers Weekly on The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
2. Historical Novel Society on The Tudor Conspiracy
3. Historical Novel Review on The Last Queen
4. Examiner.com on The Tudor Secret
5. Romantic Times Book Reviews on The Queen's Vow
6. New York Journal of Books on The Queen's Vow

3. Sell your novels in 23 countries and counting.

Bulgaria * China * Croatia * Czech Republic * Estonia * Germany * Hungary * Indonesia * Italy * Latvia * Lithuania * Norway * Poland * Portugal * Romania * Russia * Serbia * Slovenia * Spain * Sweden * Turkey * United Kingdom * United States

4. Get a great Polish publicist—and a great Polish publisher and Polish coagent, etc, etc.

Above is Gortner (right) pictured with his publicist (center) from Polish publisher Znak.

5. Get sent to Poland on an international tour.

6. While in Poland, appear on popular TV and radio programs; speak at major bookstores; and get reviewed and interviewed in newspapers, magazines, websites, and blogs.

Above, Gortner talks at Matras bookstore and answers reader questions about The Queen's Vow. Among many other places, he was interviewed at Newsweek Polska and NaTemat.pl!

And check out the gorgeous banner ad for The Queen's Vow!

7. Sign lots of people's books.

8. Congratulations, you are now an international bestseller!

The Queen's Vow rocketed up the bestseller list throughout Poland soon after its release, making individual bestseller lists at Matras bookstores, Empik bookstores, and many internet bookstore outlets.

Congratulations, C.W. Gortner!

Next Step: Repeat Steps 1 – 3 and look for another great opportunity!


  1. You really shouldn't inflate my ego like this. But thank you so much. I couldn't do it without you.