Sunday , May 26 2024
Fresh insights on publishing, whether you’re an eager novice writer, or an author enjoying bidding wars over your next book.

Book Review: Write That Book Already! The Tough Love You Need to Get Published Now by Sam Barry and Kathi Kamen Goldmark

Write That Book Already! can teach you a thing or two about getting your work published, with plenty of humor along the way. Written by Sam Barry and Kathi Kamen Goldmark, the team who call themselves "Author Enablers" (in a good way), they write a column in BookPage, the newspaper available at most good indie bookstores. From the title, you know the goal of Write That Book Already! is to inform and motivate you to write. But it also has the unique perspective of these particular authors, with their significant expertise in marketing, promotions and publicity campaigns.

They offer a balanced perspective on self-publishing, with case studies from several authors, one of whom reminds us “passion overrides experience.” Whether we seek traditional publishing or the growing self-publishing methods, we know that, either way, our work needs the same quality, attention to detail, marketing, promotion, and persistent visibility for sustained exposure. And self-publishing remains the right choice for some people. The authors address the big issue today of what to do if you can’t attract an agent. Unfortunately that’s more of a reality than ever, with publishers reluctant to invest in anything less than a sure success.

Along with the decline in big publishing deals comes the demise of book tours. Here the authors remind us that the point of book tours “was never for authors to enjoy airport cuisine and adventures in Cleveland.” It was to sell books and get the author’s name out there.

So of course, they walk us through some better ways to do this, with appearances at festivals, book groups, and virtual tours. We’re far from the days when authors left their pen and laptop at home to hit the road for a national book tour. Online media now allows authors to market their work worldwide without leaving home.

So how do we get there? In a word, write! Barry and Goldmark give some of the best motivation I’ve seen on how to get down to the task of writing, and their “Author Care 101" advice is solid and caring, to help you honor the process of writing.

Write That Book Already! gives equal time to fiction and nonfiction, and explores the importance of platform for authors, especially for nonfiction. “Our point is, if you are a nonfiction writer, generally you need to bring something to the table besides your great proposal that will convince an agent that there’s an audience out there for your work.”

First-time authors, especially, will learn from the "Life Cycle of a Book," covering the full spectrum from writer to royalties.

Write That Book Already! offers a fresh perspective you won’t find in most other books for writers. You’ll learn more about how to help an agent work with you, understand the publishing business, know how to work with an editor, and get a good analysis of whether self-publishing is the right approach for you.

A bonus section includes lists of the books admired and recommended by very well known authors, including Anne Lamott, Stephen King and Jacqueline Mitchard, who nearly missed a flight, while enthralled in reading an inspiring story.

Write That Book Already! includes interludes of “Tough Love,”  such as: “You will never be a writer if you don’t write,” a fact that hasn’t changed over the centuries.

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