1. You have to NEED to make it.
Wanting to make it is not enough. You need to make sacrifices.
2. You have to have written a great book.
Make sure that everyone knows that it is great.
3. You can't do it alone.
A PA would be great, so would a marketing team but to begin with you are going to have rely on your friends. Finish the book and then spend the time getting your name out there by approaching people and asking them for help.
You are going to need to spend some, in order for people to notice you above all the other aspiring authors.
You need people with power, to believe in you. They need to put your name out there on their blog or in their tweets or on their social media pages. If they can get you in newspapers or magazine or on the radio or TV, then even better.
Great, your first book is a hit but how are you going to make sure people buy your second book? A good start is to build an email list. This ensures that your fans know when your new book comes out. Just make sure the second book is as good, if not better, than the first.
You must learn from the mistakes you make and the advice you have been given. 'An Extra-Ordinary Beginning' is great but 'Survival Instinct' is even better because I have listened to people. In setting up my website and newsletter, I made loads of mistakes but those mistakes led to significant improvements. Find a critical friend who will tell say when you are great and when you stink.
8. Pay little attention to those who are popular.
Be yourself, not someone else. By the time you have finished your book about a boy wizard who falls in love with a vampire while fighting in gladiator style games, people will have moved on to something else.
We see publicity as evidence that someone believes in you.
10. Word of mouth.
Is still king, but use your friends and family to promote you beyond the people you know.
Means people like you and your books, but not everyone will Ignore the bad reviews/comments. On the radio recently, I heard that a product on amazon with nine good reviews and one bad one will outsell a product with ten good reviews. You've made it, now stay there.
Work hard on your writing but, in equal measure, your marketing. Try out new things (they won't all be successful) make a name for yourself and build 'you' as a brand.
13. Be nice and be helpful
Say please and thank you, be grateful and offer people your help. If you can assist someone then they are more likely to help you. If you are nice to someone then they are more likely to say good things about you to other people.
14. Sour grapes/Be positive
To be a successful author is going to be difficult. On the way people who you think can't write at all, are going to make it. Ignore them, concentrate on your own successes (keep a success list - no matter how small they are), celebrate your achievements and be positive.
15. There are no guarantees.
Every book has it time and this is finite. Harry Potter was massive, then Twilight was huge and now its The Hunger Games. You will hit the top for only a short amount of time. Make the most of it and enjoy yourself.