Francine Silverman wrote notes to herself on how to get a book published – and marketed - while suffering through the process. Her techniques must have worked, because her book is published and is an attractive product. It will also prove useful to others, as she shares the resources she gathered to help a waiting readership of hopeful authors.
Being myself in the throes of book signings and debating whether signings are productive or not, I went first to her section on that subject. As the book’s title implies, the subjects are easily found, being arranged in ABC order. I was interested to learn that some people don’t think signings are worth the effort (an opinion it’s easy to hold when you’ve arranged a signing and no-one shows up) while others reckon that even if few people attend, the signings will energize the bookstore staff and “if you convince them you have a good book, they’ll sell it after you’ve gone.” One author recommends putting an address label with website info under every book signature, so that the reader can go to the webpage and order other products. Another says he always brings candy to the bookstore staff. Yet another says, “Wear a name tag.”
Simple ideas and extra helpful because they’re all in one place, easily accessible. Francine obviously does know how frustrating the publishing and marketing of one’s creative work can be. She has taken pains to spare you the trouble she went through. Just let your fingers do the walking through this listing of “peaks and pitfalls” and save it for handy reference. The nice thing about the book is the format – it’s not just names and addresses, but a brief personal narrative visit with a number of real writers, people like you and me who have experienced the glory and the gory side of pushing a product.
I would like to have had an index. Even with the alphabetized chapter headings, one likes to look for specifics – names of publishing companies or websites that come up frequently, for example. Indexing is a class act, and generally adds little to the cost of the book. An idea for next time.
The book would be a perfect gift for writer friends, and for anyone mulling over the idea of getting started on a book project. There are literally hundreds of potentially profitable suggestions and each will have an appeal for someone. Definitely a keeper.
Well done, Ms Silverman!