Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Review and Giveaway of "The Insider's Guide to Book Publishing Success"

I was recently sent a review copy of The Insider's Guide to Book Publishing Success and I have to say, I was skeptical.  In the last two years I've read approximately 15-20 books on the writing, publishing, or marketing of books, so I was doubtful this one would have any new information in it.  I was wrong, however, which was exciting, but there were definitely pluses and minuses about the book.

Pros: The book has an extremely detailed, step-by-step explanation of the publishing process from the nitty-gritty of formatting the manuscript to the lingo regarding the binding of books, all the way through marketing the title.  It's information that is useful to have, even for someone hoping to go the traditional route, just to get a better idea of why it takes a year or more from the publisher's acceptance to your book on the shelf.  Obviously, the information is even more pertinent for an author wanting to go the self-publishing route, since it describes the team that needs to be assembled to produce/champion the book, and the realities of publishing.

Cons: The major con of this book is that it suffers from a split personality--it seems like the writers didn't have a very delineated audience in mind.  The description on the back of the book states:

The publishing industry is changing rapidly, and there are more options for authors than ever before.  Should you find an agent and search for a traditional publishing deal or consider self-publishing?  Should you print hardcover copies or opt for an ebook-only launch?  Should you hire a publicist?  This easy-to-read, nuts-and-bolts guide covers everything from what to look for in a contract to how many copies to print.

Therefore, I was expecting a book directed at authors.  The beginning of the book seemed to be just that, but as it went on, it seemed to veer more and more toward people who were interested in starting an independent publishing company.  (Such as on page 102 when it gave a list of "20 Financial Tips for Independent Publishers.")  This lack of clarity detracted from the book as I wasn't always sure if the advice was truly pertinent to someone interested in self-publishing or whether it was more for industry professionals.  Moreover, the back of the book seems to suggest that it will provide advice for going the traditional route as well as for those interested in self-publishing, but there is very little information for submitting to the big 6 publishers.  There's not even a discussion of the pros and cons of finding an agent, which the back of the book specifically suggests that there is.

Final Analysis:  The book is very useful if you're interested in self-publishing or you want an insider's perspective of the industry.  The book is produced by people from "Midpoint Trade Books" which is a full-service national book distribution company.  I've looked them up on Predators and Editors and they aren't flagged as "Not Recommended" which is always a good sign.  Therefore, if you're considering going in the self-pub direction, or you're still hoping to go the traditional route but want a behind-the-scenes view of the publishing process, this book is for you.

With that caveat, I give this book 4 stars.

If you'd like a copy of the book for yourself.  Go ahead an enter this rafflecopter!  We'll choose a winner in 2 weeks time.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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