Not a how to but just some reflections based on the things that I have read recently that seem to be successful. I doubt this will help anyone sell more books, or even me sell any.

‘In’ groups

A number of the apparently successful stories have groups of characters that follow a defining characteristic. For example Harry Potter has the four houses, Divergent has factions, Game of Thrones has noble houses, Hunger Games has it too. Readers can see themself in one or more of these in groups and can feel that they could live in the fictional world. This helps to get emotional attachment and makes it more likely that they will get shared socially.

YA target

Almost everything I’ve mentioned above is targeted at young people, some more explicitly than others. The Twilight series is another example of this. Young people (i.e. those under 25) are more likely to be working out what they like to read, they’re also more likely to share what they find. It’s a generational thing about how they do this, but not that they do. Social life where you get to discuss stuff and share in person tends to drop off when kids come along.