78 Reasons Why Your Book May Never Be Published and 14 Reasons Why It Just Might
An industry insider's blunt, practical, and laugh-out-loud funny guide for the unpublished, filled with advice that may actually help them get into print
For the hundreds of thousands who buy writers' guides every year, at last there's one that tells the ugly truth: writers who can't get published are usually making a lot of mistakes. This honest, often funny, book shows them how to identify their own missteps, stop listening to bad advice, and get to work. Drawing on his experience as founding editor of MacAdam/Cage, Pat Walsh gives writers what they need--specific, straightforward feedback to help them overcome bad habits and bad luck. He avoids the optimistic, sometimes misleading directions often found in publishing how-to books and presents the industry as it is, warts and all. Here is the first guide that tells writers just what the odds against them are and gives them practical tips for evening them.
Walsh mercilessly presents the cold, hard facts about why authors don't get published: " You think too highly of yourself," "You missed your first-chance glance" and "You scare away agents," along with 75 other dispiriting reasons. This tough-love approach aims to enlighten writers committed to their craft and discourage those who are all talk and no work. A founding editor of the literary publisher MacAdam/Cage, Walsh has spent a good deal of time reading lousy submissions, and he points out some common errors made by novices. His advice can sound more like an editor's exasperation (say, with writers who can't take criticism) than helpful tips. Walsh also describes the bottom-line world of publishing, which, he says, views books as products rather than cherished works of art. He provides basic information about agents, auctions and promotion. What saves this manual from being hectoring is the author's humor and clear-eyed awareness of the difficulties involved in getting even an outstanding book published. On a more positive note, he recommends that rejected authors cultivate patience and flexibility (i.e., learning from mistakes). Many readers may simply skip to book's end to get to the scant good news. Agent, Amy Rennert.(May)
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May 29, 2005
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