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The Accidental Bestseller

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  2,339 ratings  ·  343 reviews
Once upon a time four aspiring authors met at their very first writers' conference. Ten years later they're still friends, survivors of the ultra-competitive New York publishing world. Mallory St. James is a workaholic whose bestsellers support a lavish lifestyle. Tanya Mason is a single mother juggling two jobs, two kids, and too many deadlines. Faye Truett is the wife of ...more
Paperback, 419 pages
Published June 2nd 2009 by Berkley Books (first published May 5th 2009)
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Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,339 ratings  ·  343 reviews

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Barbara Boutin
Dec 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
I did not love this book. I felt the characters were very weak willed and used avoidance as a way to deal with unpleasantness. I spent most of the book saying "get a grip!" The story had potential as a friendship tome, but the spineless ness of the women was distasteful. I finished it, but felt myself skimming some parts
Nov 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Four aspiring writers who met at a writers' conference maintain their friendship several years later. Their individual writing careers are varied, but problems of one kind or another plague each of them.

Mallory St. James has "bestseller" status, but she has hit a glitch. Writer's block. Kendall Aims has failed to win an award that would have made a difference, and her publisher is dumping her. And so is her husband. But she has to write one more book, in the midst of the chaos of her life. Tany
Chrissi Sepe
Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
I like any books that are about the lives of writers, particularly women writers. Books that deal all about both the process and the struggles of being a writer. This book had an interesting premise because it was not only about one writer, but about four who agree to write a book together so that the lead character, Kendall, can fulfill her book contract before hopefully moving on to another publisher that will treat her better and stand behind her books more. Much to their surprise, the book b ...more
Oct 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
The Accidental Bestseller tells the story of four writers and best friends. The story opens in NYC at a writers conference where author Kendall Aim’s is up for the prestigious Zelda award. She is counting on this award to boost her career and give her a renewed sense of purpose in writing.

by Mallory St. James, a NY Times best selling author, is secretly struggling with writing her next book and her relationship with her husband. Faye Truett, an inspirational writer with a televangelist husband h
Feb 07, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, read-in-2010
Wendy Wax's "The Accidental Bestseller" is a novel about friendship and the craft of writing. It is the story of four writers: Kendall, Mallory, Faye, and Tanya who met a decade ago at a writers' conference. They become fast friends over their common goals and watch each achieve various levels of writing success: Tanya still works as a waitress at a diner and as a laundromat attendant while churning out pages at night for her agent while Mallory produced 13 books in ten years and is a New York T ...more
Cara Bristol
Aug 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Just after she fails to win an award, the publisher of midlist author Kendall Aims informs her they're dropping her, and her husband announces he's leaving her for another woman. With her career and marriage on the skids, she goes into a tailspin, unable to face producing an entire manuscript she's still contracted to produce. Her three friends rally to the rescue, each volunteering to ghostwrite a portion of the manuscript, knowing that the publisher will bury it and it will die in obscurity. F ...more
Feb 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The story of 4 authors who help one of the group who has a deadline due but no story. Each takes from her own life and puts it in the one's book and it becomes a best seller. The fallout begins between them and their families. I loved the support that they gave each other. Each woman was well defined. The others in their lives were also well defined. What I most especially loved was that each woman became stronger through this experience. They all needed to learn to communicate with each other a ...more
Aug 13, 2009 rated it it was ok
I loved reading about the book publishing industry and writers. I did not like the storyline. I did not connect to the characters. The relationships did not go far enough. I will not read this author again.
Jun 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a cute story (within a story within a story)! It was a fun and easy read with four strong female characters. Well written, with an interesting glimpse into the writing/publishing world.
Lin Stepp
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
As a best-selling author of over a dozen novels myself, I can't tell you how refreshing it was to read a book that showed without all the idealistic bells and whistles what the publishing world is really like. Before becoming an author I viewed the publishing world in a dreamworld sense ... with those naive illusions soon shattered. The stories of the four friends in the story making their way as authors was a well-written, fascinating one, each author made vividly real for the reader. ...The on ...more
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
A fun read! about the Publishing business and what writers go thru to get published! Meet 4 writers, who become fast friends at a writers conference.
Oct 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: women-s-fiction
Two-haiku review:

Her life's a hot mess
Her publisher's dropping her
Husband wants divorce

Power of friendship
Sympathetic characters
Really enjoyed it
Jun 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
The Accidental Bestseller is a great book from start to finish. Wendy Wax’s novel is a light and enjoyable read that focuses deeply on four writer friends. While some authors struggle with giving one main character depth, Wax is able to get up close and intimate with her four, strong female heroines.

Kendall, Mallory, Faye, and Tanya are all published authors in different locations, with varying degrees of success. Above all else, the four are close friends. The book begins with Kendall’s falt
May 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read this book for a chick lit book club. I wasn't sure exactly what to expect when I started the book and even was hesitant about the story a few chapters in. The book tells the story of four friends and a book editor, all through third person narration. As someone who generally reads first person narration stories - this was confusing at first for me.

As the story progressed, I found myself more and more interested in reading the book. With most books that I cannot put down, there is some asp
The Accidental Bestseller by Wendy Wax was a cute story but not one of my favorite's by this author. It is about the lives of four writers, who happen to be good friends, and the struggles all of them encounter not just in their professional lives but in their personal lives. It also gives just a glimpse into the workings of the publishing world. I must admit, though, that the story tend to drag when the four of them were together and there was just too much whining. In this case the sum of the ...more
Apr 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The book is truly a work of art to me. This book is about four friends that have maintained a decade of friendship and work hard in their careers in life. I loved reading it and the secrets can be dangerous and they can sometimes hurt. A wonderful well-written book. In this story Kendall is on a deadline but she has some serious writer's block. Her friends help her to complete the book by adding each their way of writing into the book which ends up a best seller.
Oct 04, 2010 rated it it was ok
My mom recommended this one so I read the whole thing. Otherwise, I definitely would have quit on this one. The problem for me is that it is a writer writing about the book just like the one in your hands that she is touting as a work of brilliance that makes the NY Times Best seller list. The self-promotion was completely annoying to me.
May 03, 2011 rated it did not like it
I didn't make it past the first twenty pages. : ( I gave myself permission to put it away!
Sue Stewart
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW What a great book - loved the 4 friends - their ups and downs as writers and their steadfast friendship and their roller coaster journey. Truly captivating!
Chloe (Always Booked)
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wendy Wax does not disappoint! This is the story of 4 authors who met before they were published. Fast forward and one is a super successful bestseller, one is an elderly inspirational writer, one is a Dolly Parton-esque woman who has a contract but also has to work 2 jobs to support her family, and the fourth is our main character- a writer on the decline who's about to get cut from her contract. She gets a severe case of writer's block, her husband cheats on her and wants a divorce, and her wo ...more
Apr 08, 2019 rated it liked it
I am so torn about this book. The concept was great. There were 3 places it could have ended, and I wished it would have ended. Other times I wished it would have continued on forever...until it did.

Btw, I listened to this book.

I really did enjoy how the women came together to help each other. They didn’t really seem to have a firm grasp on what was going on in THEIR actual lives though. Also, who hides a full on divorce from their college aged children?

I loved the moxy of Lucy, Lacy? Whatever
Nancy H
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was fabulous! I love to read and I love reading about how authors create their masterpieces. Even though this is fiction, it is a fascinating look into how the whole writing and publishing process works, as seen through the eyes and experiences of four women writers who are each other's closest friends. When one of them has a deep crisis, the others join forces to support her and help her climb back to sanity and peace. This is a wonderful novel of friendship, a friendship that goes fa ...more
Jan 20, 2019 rated it liked it
I like Wendy's writing generally, and this was good. There were a few things that I found annoying: That all the aliases were just like the "real" names of the characters, and that it took so long for anyone to figure out what was going on, especially the friends. A cute premise, maybe a little too cute for me.
One thing I like about Wendy's books is that you can count on a happy ending. I sometimes find happy endings extremely comforting. Given that I have a broken toe that I am nursing, this wa
James Cribbs
Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wendy th best book you have written is "While We Were Watching Dustin Abby. Th second best is Essential Betste

Wendy the best y
book you have written is " While we were watching Dowton Abby. The second best was Accendital best Seller. The third was Magnolia Wednesdays. PLEASE leave the renavation crew and go back to these more wonderful and interesting and in depth characters as are in the three books I have mentioned. Sincerely KC
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was very excited about this book since I love reading and editing, but I just couldn't get into it. After about the sixth chapter, I gave up on it but was curious to see how it ended, so I skimmed the rest of the book. I can't quite put my finger on what all I disliked about this book, but it never grabbed me. I don't feel like the characters were ever developed past their "selves" that they were when we first met them, and it just felt like a lot of things were repeated.
May 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Meh. Again with the unrealistic kidspeak, which drives me insane. There was only one instance in this book, but it was noticeable since it seems to be a pet peeve. Also, I have never known 4 females who can maintain an adult friendship like the one portrayed here. Perhaps that is just me, and I'm sorely lacking in that department because I know lots of women, and none of them are capable of that kind of sorority. Oh, well. Not my favorite Wax novel.
Nov 08, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up-on
I read almost 100 pages of this book and just didn't like it. All of the characters felt like clichés. I kept finding mistakes in the writing, too. Like Kendall is one of 5 nominees for this award, but then there is 1 winner and 5 "losers," so there were really 6 nominees? What? I'm fine with leaving this one unread, even though I liked another book by this author.
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, read-in-2017
Once I got sucked into this book, there was no stopping me from finishing. I mean, what drama could possible happen when a group of writers secretly co-authors a book together when the characters may not be based on fiction? Wendy Wax has said her books center around friendships and this one is no different.
Necole Moreau
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow, what an amazing book this was. As someone who has loved reading her entire life, I truly loved hearing about authors and what really goes on behind the scenes. I also loved that this is about true friendship and the ups and downs it can go through. I wish I could read the sequel about the spunky assistant and her rise in the publishing world.
Terri Abraham
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved, loved, loved this book. Wendy Wax is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. Her characters are believable and like-able for the most part. There are a few of her characters that are less than like-able, but that just makes us like her main characters more and makes the story-lines more believable. Wonder what happens to these characters when the story ends.
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I write novels that explore friendship, self-discovery and the challenges life brings us, leavened with a touch of humor. I'm proud of all my books and perhaps best known for my "Ten Beach Road" titles including the USA Today bestsellers, Ten Beach Road and The House on Mermaid Point, and for While We Were Watching Downton Abbey.

I was born in St.Petersburg, Florida and grew up on St. Pete Beach wi

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