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Write. Publish. Repeat. (The No-Luck-Required Guide to Self-Publishing Success) (The Smarter Artist Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
An implied message, too, at least that I came (heh! heh heh!) away with, is... write pr0n. Err... er0tica. Or, uh... Active Romance. Or whatever it is that Lexi Maxxwell writes. The boys have a har... a great appreciation for Lexi Maxxwell. Kinda leaves me wondering what percentage of their "fiction writing" income derives from "working with" Lexi. (Johnny wrote a story about pimps, right? Just, y'know, sayin'.) And for that matter, what percentage of their "fiction writing" income derives from writing fiction? Ironically, this non-fiction "how to" book is apparently one of their best selling works.
The guys talk, or write, a lot about writing a lot. As in, they write a lot of words. They like to cite their "one point five million words" published in 2013 statistic. But somehow they couldn't fit the "how to produce 1.5-million words a year" part into their how-to book. Nor did they suggest checking the internet for that particular productivity tip. No, instead they ask us to stay tuned for their next how-to book on becoming a more productive writer.
I know, because they told me in their book, that the guys hope the suggestions here will remain more-or-less timeless, and be as valid a decade from now as they are today. Maybe that's why they steer clear of specifics. But would it have hurt to say something at least a little bit specific about sales numbers? Comparative sales numbers? Industry averages? The number of self-published authors who sell less than a book a month? There are virtually NO statistics or hard numbers in this book. I know that the guys have stated on their podcast a number of times that their sales numbers are nobody's business. Sure, that's fair. But always edging away with "what's good for us might not be good for you" (or wait, was that part of Lexi's section?) is, to me anyway, sort of a cop-out. I know people who sell one book a month on Amazon, for a dollar, and their sales ranking (you know, hovering around that Magic Million Mark) is better than quite a few other authors. I know a book a month isn't gonna provide a living wage. But what do the guys mean when they claim to be making a living as full-time fiction authors? $15k a year? $50k a year? $100k a year? Again, all I'd like to see are ballpark figures, guys: what's so top-secret about sharing an opinion about how many books a "hypothetical average self-published author" needs to be selling, or what the average sales ranking figures need to be, to be earning the equivalent of the oft-derided "cubicle job?" Or as another, less intrusively personal, example, book covers - c'mon, guys, couldn't you have been at least "generally specific," and provided sort of a ballpark estimate of what a cover costs? Where to go to find a cover and what's involved in negotiating a price? Or how about a "rough guesstimate in 2013 dollars" of the approximate cost to produce one of YOUR books? Yeah, I know, you've repeated it enough, "your situation is probably different than ours." J likes to say he turns out clean copy and doesn't really need an editor, just a proofreader. Yet the team does send their books to an editor. So from start to finish, what's it cost to have a cover done, hire an editor, run ads in publications, and whatever else is involved in a typical J-S-D (aka Sterling & Stone, formerly Realm & Sands / Collective Inkwell) launch? Oh, wait, if I want to be privy to that information, I can... or could have... contributed to their Fiction Unboxed Kickstarter Campaign.
Remember, kids: as Sean tells us in his book "Writer Dad," even curmudgeonly anti-marketer Dave, as well as Sean and Johnny, worked in internet marketing and sales copy writing. And a lot of this book reads like a long, entertaining sales letter, heavy on enthusiasm but vague on specifics... with a promise of more informative how-to books to come!
To their credit, J, S, and D tell us straight out, and they've mentioned it on their podcast a number of times, that you don't really need to buy this book. The "secret," which they clearly state is not a secret, is right there on the cover: Write. Publish. Repeat.
Here's another secret: as part of their marketing strategy, the guys often experiment with pricing. If you don't wanna spend the six bucks (current Kindle version price), check back periodically. You might find it for less. For inspiration, entertainment, and maybe a few "pro tips," though, it's worth the six dollars. Just don't expect a lot of specific, direct "how to" advice... or to see many numbers.
The best thing about this book, to me, is that it is devoted to teaching you how to think. You won't find screenshots teaching you how to format your files for the different online retailers or step-by-steps walking you through how to fill out a product description. The advice in this book will not only help you today, but years from now. I feel confident saying that because the focus is on how to approach situations. It will show you what type of thinking and the attitude you should as you try to build a career. They will teach you how to CREATE opportunities (they are serious about the 'no luck' part) for yourself.
In this book, Sean, Johnny and Dave advocate a systemic and repeatable approach that takes the guesswork out of being an author. The work ethic and can-do attitude that fills every page appeals to me so much. It's inspirational and motivational. Reading the book really makes you believe that it's possible to approach a writing career as a business person instead of that guy risking everything on a roll of the dice. You don't have to hope and pray that you get lucky. There is a line in the early part of the book that says: "Success comes from hard work and the accumulation of small numbers." That is such an awesome sentence, but more than that, it's an awesome philosophy.
Ultimately, that's what this book is about. It teaches you how to win a lot of small battles that have the cumulative effect of leading you to a life of victory. If you want to learn how to make it as a self-published author, do yourself a favor and buy this book. Read this book and keep it close by so you can read it again.
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