If you are the author of a book and want to say in an informal setting that a the book is a best seller, can you say "I'm the author of a book that has done terrific"? if not, what could be a more commonly used sentence to express the same idea?

  • Do the people you are telling already know that you have published a book? If not, then it would probably be more common to state this in 2 sentences - one about the fact you have had a book published, the second about how well it is doing. – SteveES May 24 '17 at 14:41
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    The sentence does convey your meaning, but it uses a colloquial dialect that isn't appropriate in all situations; specifically "has done terrific" is colloquial language. – SteveES May 24 '17 at 14:52
  • @SteveES Yes, other people already know who that person is, and also about her book. – rraallvv May 24 '17 at 14:58
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    "I'm the author of a book that has done terrifically well!" makes more sense. "A book that has done terrific" doesn't sound right by itself; it begs for another descriptor, such as "terrifically well." – Mark Hubbard May 24 '17 at 15:00
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    @rraallvv If the audience already knows about the book, she could say "My book is doing really well.", or even "You know I'm a best-selling author now!" would probably be fine. – SteveES May 24 '17 at 15:09

Your sentence is correct, but a few other options sound more natural.

Specifying "sold" puts the modifier in context:

I'm the author of a book that has sold terrifically.

But if you don't want to use "sold", you can use "done well". (In certain contexts, "done well" can be a faux-modest euphemism for "made a lot of money".)

I'm the author of a book that has done well.

Avoid the issue altogether with:

I'm the author of a successful book.

Or, be specific about what the success actually means:

I'm the author of a book that sold two million copies.

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    I think "...book that has done well" is perfect for the setting I'm talking about, thanks. – rraallvv May 24 '17 at 15:10

"Terrific" is an adjective. You are trying to modify the verb phrase "has done", so you should use the adverb form, "terrifically": "The book has done terrifically." You could say "Sales of the book have been terrific." (Or "Critical reviews have been terrific" or "The heat from the bonfire of all the unsold copies was terrific" or whatever it is you're trying to say.)

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  • Could it be an adjetive if the sentence talks about sells, "the book has done terrific sells" but the word sell is omitted by the speaker? – rraallvv May 24 '17 at 19:12
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    @rraallvv "sells" is the wrong word. If you meant "sales" not "sells", then "done" is the wrong verb. So if you want to user "the book has done terrific" in that way, you are asking the listener to make at least two guesses about what you really meant! If you shorten "The book has had terrific sales" to "The book has had terrific," the listener will probably wonder "had terrific what, exactly?" Sales? Reviews? Protest demonstrations because some people think it's offensive? Or what? – alephzero May 25 '17 at 2:07

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