Book review: Write That Book Already!

I write book reviews for BlogCritics.org. Some day, I’ll index all the relevant reviews for writers so you can read them on PajamaMarkeing. Til then, here’s a holiday treat for you. Spend the weekend, reading and/or writing, knowing that good writing is the cornerstone of any work you hope to publish.

Along the way, 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.

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