This week I’ll be reviewing one of my favorite writing craft books. It’s called Write. Publish. Repeat. by authors Sean Platt, Johnny B. Truant, & David Wright. Maybe it’s wrong to describe this book as a craft writing book. Those books usually suggest things you can do when it comes to the specifics of your story. Lots books are about plot beats. Others are about the character arc. Some want you to write a great villain, or structure a romantic subplot. This book, however, is light on those mechanics. What this book is about is the business of being a self-published author.
See, guys like me, who are chasing a traditional publishing contract are quickly becoming a bison in a thinning herd. More and more people are self-publishing. And they’re not just doing it on Kindle. It’s an exciting time in in the publishing world – if you’re a self-motivated writer.
And that’s what these guys are. Throughout this 462 page book, you get the impression that these guys work very, very hard.
WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THIS BOOK
- The book is broken up into five sections with introductions and clear guidelines.
- They write argumentative essays explaining why they do what they do – and why you should do it too.
- The authors deconstruct what needs to be done, step by step, with humor and panache.
- The writing is crisp, clear, and entertaining. You’ll laugh out-loud.
HOW THE BOOK IS ORGANIZED
- An extended introduction of themselves and terms you should know.
- Explaining the Self-Publishing landscape and how it can help you.
- Creating a professional book – from story, to editing, to concerns of post-production like formatting, book covers and Pricing.
- Marketing 101. From creating an email list, to blogging, to the concept of funneling. (This is the real gem of the book. Really good stuff here.)
- Thinking like a publisher (i.e., an entrepreneur)
- An appendix with interview with successful independent authors.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT I REALLY LIKE ABOUT THIS BOOK?
There not dainty about the subject of writing and publishing. They have no problem speaking the unvarnished truth. And boy, are these guys funny! There sophomoric antics shine through the pages of this book. I sometimes mourn for their long suffering wives.
My favorite story is how they set up a giveaway for signing up for their email list. Eventually they ran a contest to determine what the subject of their new flash fiction stories. The winner? Caveman time-cop.
The information in this book is in-depth and exhausting. I read it the first time in 2014 and it scared the crap out of me. In many ways what they were talking about was overwhelming. How was I going to implement all this? How was I going to get this stuff together? How was I going to find the people I needed to help me do book covers and format and all that other stuff? It was inspiring and intimidating at the same time.
If you’re looking for a business book on writing that is going to serve you a warm cup of chamomile tea, pat you on the hand and tell you “Everything is alright dear. You just write your book and nice people will magically do all the rest of that nasty business stuff,” then this book is NOT FOR YOU!
However, if you’ve got a story you really want to tell, if you’re more than curious about self-publishing and want to try it for yourself, if you are willing to do the dirty work of marketing yourself and creating a platform, If fighting for your spot in the marketplace gets you excited in the morning, than this book is for you.
It’s not pretty at times, but it is hones.