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Anecdotes and Pep-talks Do Not a Guide Make
on June 13, 2011
I realize I'm bucking the crowd on this, but then the authors are very influential people with a lot of followers so maybe that has something to do with why the reviews are so glowing here on Amazon. And maybe not. Maybe it's just that I'm not finding it that helpful to my particular situation. I have been using the Kindle version of this book for the last several weeks as a guide for self-publishing my memoir after several months of trying to go the traditional agent route without success. I think this book may be more useful to the very few people new to getting published who are successful going that route. There certainly isn't much about self-publishing beyond a lot of generalities, anecdotes, and rah-rah enthusiasm. For example, not a single self-publishing service seems to be mentioned. I was hoping for a detailed comparison. I don't think this is really a guide so much as a lot of pieces of the puzzle but little explanation of how the writer can use them. Nothing on how to select a self-publishing service although it does cover the self-publishing scene and elements. The Table of Contents is not that helpful at finding things because the authors like to use cute names for chapters and sub-chapters so it is sometimes hard to find what you need. Social networking and marketing are described at general levels but never at the detailed level that would help a novice get into it. No blueprint. Yes I already know about Facebook and Twitter and I can sign up and do the basics without their help, but what about beyond the basics. How do you design a successful Facebook page for your book or where's the link to how to do that? What are hash marks and how do you utilize them in Twitter? Blogging is discussed, but no comparison or even mention of the major blogging services much less how to design your blog page. Anecdotes may be interesting, but they never seem to be useful for my particular situation.
This is probably a very good book for people really new to writing and publishing who want to know what the scene is like nowadays. If you are already somewhat knowledgeable about this world, as I am, you won't find much you can use to make decisions and take concrete steps. I really don't think this is a guide as it claims to be as much as a review of the publishing scene. Maybe the topic is just too large to fit in a single book, but I was hoping for much more useful information and not just an amusing read.