I downloaded this book as part of a package of 3, offered for a very silly price, by which I mean, cheap, very cheap!
It’s the best few pence I’ve ever spent. I’d have happily paid a hundred times more. This is the first book in the package and it speaks to me. Oh, how it speaks to me. All the way through, as I read, I was saying (sometimes aloud, to the annoyance of my patient and wonderful wife) ‘Yes! Of course!’.
These two guys are on my wavelength. They understand what it’s like to be a pantster who refuses to be bound by genre. But they also understand that writers need to be disciplined and to have a business head to deal with writing in the modern world. I have long struggled with the concept and act of marketing and promotion. It is foreign to my nature. I am suspicious of salesmen and marketers, considering them a bunch of exploitation merchants with morals that would make a sewer rat look like a saint. What these authors do in this book is to debunk our preconceived ideas of marketing and promotion. They explain, in a friendly, chatty and frank style, the reality of writing and getting your words before the reading public.
They understand that the story choses the genre; a phrase I’ve used for years. They get that writers who see themselves as artists are okay to do that. But they also understand that we, the writers, the creators of stories, need to earn some income in order to continue with our craft. Starving in the garret is not necessary. Hiding your light under a bush is not helpful to your readers.
What these guys do, in an entertaining, informed, educational and inspiring way, is enable you, as an artist, to separate your creative self from your business self and start to actually sell you books, and to do so without compromising your ethics or your idea of yourself as a writer.
I do have a complaint about the book. It is this. It should have been written twenty years ago, when I first started writing seriously. It’s no good trying to excuse the lack or delay by complaining that self-publishing was all but non-existent then, or that digital publishing was no more than a scifi dream. If this book had been around then, I’d be a wealthy writer by now, with a string of bestsellers to my name. Give me time, and, armed with the advice in this book, I’ll become that writer.
So, I have to just say, ‘Thank You’ to Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant for their insight, their openness, their extraordinary candour and their simple ability to express these vital lessons in words that sing to me. If you’re a writer who has struggled to get your name and work noticed, this is the book for you. If you have ever self-published and thought maybe your books could do better, this book is for you. If you’ve ever thought maybe you could write a book and publish it yourself, this book is for you. Buy it. You’ve missed out on the initial insanely cheap introductory offer, but if I were you, I’d pay ten times the current price. Read it. Follow the advice. I certainly will. I heartily recommend it to all struggling writers.