The original edition of The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book was published in 2006. When I reviewed it I was particularly struck by the comprehensive nature of the book and the way it guided both new and seasoned authors from the impetus of a book through to handling the post-launch life of an author. The new version is still comprehensive, and still contains a superbly structured compendium of knowledge about the world of “authorship”. The book is still infused with Fry’s 30+ years of experience in writing, publishing and teaching writing and publishing, and is still a well written, easy-to-read book that will help authors at all stages of their careers. But the new edition has been significantly updated.
Some of the improvements include a lot more information on the much trickier area of publishing fiction, and lots more information on some recent trends such as online promotion, creating buzz, and using multimedia to promote books. As with anything Fry writes, she knows her stuff, and would be authors (and already been authors too) will benefit from following her advice. The book begins, as it should, with making sure the reader knows why he or she is is writing a book – and it isn’t as facetious as it sounds. Fry says that there were 1.2 million titles in print in the United States, with 76% of them selling fewer than 100 copies. The number of titles in print has more than tripled since then, but the percentage selling fewer than 100 copies has remained constant. So getting a book published is, in most instances, hardly the road to fame and fortune. You need to be very clear about why you want to publish and clear about exactly what being published means. Right Way busts a number of myths, but does so in a positive way that encourages authors to both look for the intrinsic benefits of publishing, and also to think in a calculated business-like way about how they will promote and sell their book.
As the President of SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists, and Writers Network), Fry has her ear close to the ground when it comes to issues around independent publishing and around the areas that writers tend to need help with, and it is this new edition has been designed to deal in a more direct way with those issues. The book contains chapters on how to find and pitch a publisher, on self-publishing (and Fry is very well experienced on this topic), on avoiding the sharks, on writing book proposals (and why they should be done, even with fiction, before writing the book), on organising a book, on researching, on self-editing, how to do a book signing, create a book trailer (this is new to this edition), how to use blogging and social networking to sell your book (also new to this edition), press kits, dealing with paperwork/tax issues, and an extensive list of references.