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Write. Publish. Repeat. A review of one of the best books about Self-Publishing

Write. Publish. Repeat. Available on Amazon

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

Johnny B. Truant
  • 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.

 

Sean Platt

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.

 

WARNING!

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.

17th Century Quebec was never this fascinating. My review of Promised to the Crown.

This is the first of my monthly book reviews I will do on my website. I will go back and forth between reviewing writing craft books I find helpful and works of fiction and history I enjoyed. It will be a potpourri of books.

Promised to the Crown, By Aimie K. Runyan.

This month’s book is the debut novel for local Colorado Author Aimie K. Runyan, entitled Promised to the Crown, published by Kensington Press. Here’s the premise write off the back cover:

 

They are known as the filles du roi, or “King’s Daughters” – young women who leave prosperous France for an uncertain future across the Atlantic. Their dutyis to marry and bring forth a new generation of loyal citizens. Each prospective bride has her reason for leaving – poverty, family rejection, a broken engagement. Despite their different backgrounds, Rose, Nicole, and Elisabeth all believe that marriage to a stranger is their best, perhaps only, chance at happiness.

 

There were several things I enjoyed about this book. Chiefly, it deals with a part of history I am not really familiar with – Colonial France. Yes, everyone knows about the sugar plantations in the Caribbean, the slavery and the piracy. But, the frontier of Quebec is different. I did not know that Louis XIV instituted a plan to encourage young women to immigrate on their own to Quebec and find husbands. So this was a treat for me, I learned a lot.

What I really liked were the strong female characters. They leapt off the page for me. Even minor characters, like Elizabeth’s domineering mother, who continued to create problems for her daughter almost a year after she left France, to Mother Mathilde who ran the town convent and tried to make good matches for these women, were vivid, to me.

But what I really liked was how the author shows us societies expectations on these women’s bodies. The norms of their society, the Roman Catholic Church, their frontier community, not to mention their husbands, all made demands on their persons – and sex was the least of it. Mothering, working, as status symbols of prosperity and wealth, Aimie does a subtle job of exploring the expectations placed on these women’s bodies. The demands, at times, are so subtle, they don’t even realize they are being used. But the whole reason their trip is paid for by the King of France is so they marry and have lots of babies. The pressure to marry and give birth is high. And, while the coming of babies is a time of joy for most women, when you add the lack of our modern pre-natal care in 17th century frontier Quebec, the announcement of a pregnancy is fraught with danger.

One particular plot line fascinated me.

One of the characters has a hard childbirth which ended with the baby dying a few hours later. The way Aimie Runyan describes the ruinous state the characters body is in after childbirth, I just knew she was never going to get pregnant again. So you can imagine my joy when the character conceives a few chapters later. However, I was worried, too. Will the baby survive? There are several miscarriages for our characters. And, the frontier is dangerous. Will the mother survive?  Hell, will the father survive?

There is also provincial politics in Aimie’s Debut novel. Men of high standing lord their power over others. Being prosperous is a political statement. The women new to Quebec are constantly reminded not to make enemies – of anyone.

When you combine the mortality rate, with the dangers of frontier living and the politics of the Ancient Regime, the best way I can describe Aimie’s book is to call it a small scale Little House on the Prairie meets Game of Thrones.

If you love historical romance, women’s fiction, or historical narratives in general, I Strongly suggest you get Promised to the Crown.

I don’t really have a rating system in place yet, but if I did, Promised to the Crown would receive the highest marks.

 

 *****ATTENTION! *****

Amazon is having a Sale! If you purchase Promised to the Crown before Wednesday, Feb. 1st the paperback will be $10.20 on Amazon. Its normally $15. If you buy it on Kindle, its $2.99!