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VINE VOICEon February 5, 2005
This book is a great beginning source for someone who is an aspiring author. It goes through the motions that an author should do and, at times, parts with valuable information on how to perceive a situation with an editor, agent or publishor, as well as the section on how to promote your book and get it into the bookstores. So, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to be or is an aspiring author.

But, as the previous reviewer had noted, if you are looking for a hand holding, this would be the book to read. She takes you from point A to point B, no matter how small, and explains every detail. At times I could only skip ahead because it is something that is extremely basic that she is going into such detail, and at others I find myself skipping because of its redundancy. As well, this book is definitely geared for the nonfiction writer more so than it is for the fiction writer, although there are many useful tidbits that the fiction writer could take in.

All in all, which is why I gave it a four star, she does as she sets out to do, and that is to compile much of the information to the questions that many of the beginning authors have. If you are familiar with the field, I would stay away. But for the amateur just starting out, she does a great job in walking you through the steps and how to continue on with success.
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on July 14, 2004
At the last Book Expo, I talked with numerous people in the book world (sellers, agents, authors, media), all of whom said this was THE book to get to write a proposal. So, I got it. Off of what the book tells you to do (in very helpful details, with steps in order you do them), my proposal and query letter have now garnered interest from two major agents.
I'd say the book is more for nonfiction than fiction. Page herself states that for fiction, you have to write the whole book, there's no substitute for that. And only nonfiction books are sold off the proposal alone.
One weakness: her advice for writing the opening didn't work for me, though I followed it to the letter. The agent I'm probably going with wants me to rewrite the first 4 pages of my proposal. I would read more than just her book in doing a proposal. Try another biggie in the field: How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larsen.
BUT!! Considering that this is the one all the players in the industry recommend and that it is just SO good, you can't afford to pass this one up if you have hopes of getting published. This woman knows her stuff and gives you a guide that is the most thorough I've seen.
Happy publishing!
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on August 9, 1999
Susan Page has artfully and skillfully condensed and organized the publishing wisdom she has gained from her own frustrating years of trying to break into print into a golden tour-guide for the newcomer to the writing-for-publication world. She has sequentially described every step in the process of getting a book published. She also has shared from her personal storehouse of publishing horror stories -- industry faux pas to avoid. Thanks to her excellent advice, I have located the perfect literary agent to represent my own book. Thank you, Susan, from the bottom of my ink-well!
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on August 25, 1999
This book was truly helpful. I already had an literary agent when I read this book but the tips given regarding agents let me know that I had signed with the right one! The information about advances and royalties was very valuable. There's nothing wrong with expecting to be paid well for something you enjoy doing and are good at!!!
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on September 11, 2006
I never thought it would be possible to get published so quickly, but the guidance and insights in Susan Page's book allowed me to plan a clear path for my first book which was sold within 9 months. The Shortest Distance...is by far the best "how to get published" book on the market with concise, direct, generous and incredibly useful information. It even helps with promoting and publicizing your book once it's on the shelves. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to be a successful author!
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on December 28, 2002
I've never read a more comprehensive and helpful resource for new writers. Page knows of what she writes...she's the successful author of several books and has promoted her work on several top-rated talk and radio shows. As I read her easy-to-follow strategies, I couldn't help but wonder, why is this author giving away her secrets? I guess the proof is in the pudding, for who would recommend this book if it didn't provide the goods promised by its title? And deliver the goods she does! Page outlines twenty essential steps for success. Besides "Write Your Book (If You Haven't Already)", as a published author myself, I suggest two others are standouts: "Enlist a Famous or Highly Credentialed Person to Write a Foreword or Endorsement for Your Book" and "Keep Your Eye on Production and Marketing Details". Page realises you'll be discouraged along the way, so she incorporates the best and worst of her own experience of taking six years to publish her first book. She'll keep your hopes high and your expectations realistic. Page's openness and honesty are qualities shared by successful educators. It's no surprise then that she has been teaching workshops since 1980.
Page also includes contact information. She wants to learn from her readers because she believes experience is the greatest teacher. Whether you are a first-time author or seasoned professional, The Shortest Distance Between You and a Published Book will leave you feeling excited, inspired and ready to get to work!
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on April 1, 2004
A look at Miss Page's publishing history reveals three relationship books. This may explain why she tells the writer to approach their book by 1) Establishing Your Book's Unique Identity, 2) Start Working on a Fabulous Title and only then, 3) Write Your Book. This may in fact be a good path for nonfiction, but they have little to do with helping a fiction writer get published. She spends a considerable amount of time on writing and post-publication, when the title promises to talk about getting to publication. If you need to know to write a book first and care about getting your book into paperback after its successful run in hard cover, or want some cheerleading, buy it. If you want insider knowledge and concrete, proven examples and insight, move on.
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on June 18, 2002
This book is absolutely invaluable! Susan Page takes you step by step thru the maze of writing, setting goals, deciding on titles, finding an agent, query letters, book proposals, contracts, what to expect after you sell, plus great infomation about promotion, marketing and working with the media. Sound advice resonates from each page. The resource section alone was worth the price of the book. Written in a easy to read style that lets you breeze through the material. It was a true gift to those of us in the throes of publishing and trying to find our way through. Her book is an treasure trove of information & the perfect primer for the first time writer or sauvy professional. Thank you Susan for your skill and you openness in sharing the secrets to success that you have learned along the way. Now there is no reason that success is beyond anyone's reach with this as our bible.
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on July 3, 2002
I told a friend of mine that I'd started writing a novel and she recommended "Shortest Distance" to me. I'd done quite a bit of research on the subject of book publishing over the years, but after reading this book, all of my questions about book publishing were answered. Ms. Page completely demystifies all aspects of the book publishing process as well as the industry as a whole. Now, instead of seeing writing and publishing a book as an arduous and possibly even terrifying struggle, I now see it as rewarding and totally within my grasp as a starting writer.
After reading the book, I thought of even more questions. I emailed them to Ms. Page and she graciously replied with answers. I recommend this book to any writer that wants a no-nonsense guide to publishing.
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on July 31, 2005
Pretty good basic information and encouraging. Though the author has gained her expertise from a very narrow set of experiences writing about her special topics, the info is still very good and there is surely learning there for everyone. Also gives you an idea of how much money one can get from writing and gives you several ideas and things to think about. If you are considering writing a book, this book is a good first step, before you expand too much effort. There are a few things you may do differently as a result. And the book is not only a fun light read, but also very detailed sort of like a handbook.
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