Reviewer Gordon Osmond : Gordon is a produced and award-winning playwright and author of: So You Think You Know English--A Guide to English for Those Who Think They Don't Need One, Wet Firecrackers--The Unauthorized Autobiography of Gordon Osmond and his debut novel Slipping on Stardust.
He has reviewed books and stageplays for http://CurtainUp.com and for the Bertha Klausner International Literary Agency. He is a graduate of Columbia College and Columbia Law School and practiced law on Wall Street for many years before concentrating on writing fiction and non-fiction. You can find out more about Gordon by clicking HERE
Author: Patricia FryPublisher:Allworth Press
Author: Patricia FryPublisher:Allworth Press
As the means of publishing a book have mushroomed in recent years, so too have the number of books about how best to do it. Even in a highly populated market, however, Patricia Fry's 2012 update of her 2006 work stands high in terms of its breadth and depth. The reader searches in vain for an unturned stone.
Publish Your Book is full of common sense, tough love, and encouragement conditioned almost to the point of extinction upon an author's willingness to get with the author's program for success. Although Fry offers no miracle diets or cures, she does spell out with clarity and passion the fundamentals of accomplishing goals the hard way.
A recurring, if not indeed central theme of the book is the necessity for authors to be involved in the promotion of their works. As a general proposition, this may not be news to authors with some experience with and exposure to the publication process, particularly in regard to subsidy publishers who harp on the point. But the degree and means of author involvement in the process and its applicability to authors fortunate enough to land traditional publishing contracts may surprise and daunt.
The book offers some particularly valuable suggestions in terms of the sequence in which various stages of the writing/publication/promotion process should be addressed. Some of them may seem to threaten the creative process of writing. Fry takes the curse off of this with my favorite passage from the book: "The only possible exception to this 'book proposal first' rule is the novel or a children’s book. If there’s a story bubbling up inside you and your muse is sitting on your shoulder shouting in your ear, go ahead and write. Take advantage of every creative moment." It seems that beneath the skin of this pedagogical merchant lies the heart of an artist.
The book earns its sub titular reference to "resources." Fry generously credits her colleagues and their works, including one recently and excellently reviewed by a colleague of mine on these pages. The book's meticulous index and well categorized lists of recommended readings give added dimension and value to the book. These features, together with a highly descriptive Table of Contents, make the author's recurring references to other chapters of her own book unnecessary. The reader will know when the midpoint of the book has been reached when these internal cross references begin to mention past rather than future chapters.
The book casts a wide net, including legal matters, where the author wisely raises issues and refers them to counsel, and valuable tips for effective public speaking. Fry's forays into arcane areas of grammar are less successful. Her distaste for the passive voice fails to deal with its advantages and two of her three examples do not present the passive voice at all. The author mentions how words beginning with the consonant "h" are not always preceded by "a," but ignores the reverse, viz., when words beginning with the vowel "u" are not always preceded by "an." Finally, the author's approach to the relative pronouns, "who" and "that," is a bit simplistic.
The statement that "Your book will keep selling for as long as you are willing to market it" seems a strange disadvantage to self-publishing especially as the same sentence is included a few pages earlier as an advantage to self-publishing.
In a couple of instances, the reader may feel that the promotional recommendations are a bit extreme. How many, put off by Christmas cards that bear printed signatures or that include printed "Dear All" descriptions of what the sender and the kiddies have been up to all year, would respond favorably to the inclusion of a plug for the sender's book? And I believe I read somewhere that using an advertiser's postage-bearing return envelope for personal promotional purposes is skating on thin legal ice.
Any "how-to" book is bound to come off as a bit bossy, and at some points the reader may not be in the mood for so many imperatives. Fry does a good job of getting the "but it's for your own good" message across, and her excellent chapter on taking a break from promotional efforts to avoid burnout could well be applied to the process of reading and profiting from this excellent book.
Follow Here To Purchase Publish Your Book: Proven Strategies and Resources for the Enterprising Author