on 27 January 2015
If you want to write a book, are interested in self-publishing and are willing to work hard and consistently - then if you read no other book on writing - please, please read this one. Sean, Dave and Johnny host a weekly podcast - Self-Publishing Podcast (available on iTunes and YouTube) - I stumbled across it about 5 months ago and wished with all my heart I'd found it 2 years ago when I started my journey. They are an inspiration and they have a child-like joy in writing that is totally contagious. This book is a distillation of the knowledge they share in the podcast and have learnt on their self-publishing adventures.
They don't promise a pot of gold, fame and fortune but they show you how to approach writing as a business whilst still maintaining the all the joy of the art. It's a brilliant, inspiring and informative read and a must have for the library of any author or aspiring writer.
They've also recently written another book 'Fiction Unboxed' in which they detailed the journey they took writing a book in 30 days (from zero idea to publication) in front of an audience of more than a 1,000. It’s another great read and a real inspiration for the non-superhuman authors like myself. Wow can those boys produce word count – they’re machines.
Anyway the book’s great and well worth getting and if you haven’t yet started watching their Self-Publishing Podcast, then what are you doing with your nights? I watch an episode or two every night and have reached Episode 87 (filmed in Dec 2013) so I still have another 52 or so to go until I’m up-to-date. I’ve learnt more watching these podcasts than everywhere else combined – so check it out. You’ll thank me – I promise you (although be prepared for locker room language - in the podcasts not the books).
on 4 December 2014
I downloaded this book as part of a package of 3, offered for a very silly price, by which I mean, cheap, very cheap!
It’s the best few pence I’ve ever spent. I’d have happily paid a hundred times more. This is the first book in the package and it speaks to me. Oh, how it speaks to me. All the way through, as I read, I was saying (sometimes aloud, to the annoyance of my patient and wonderful wife) ‘Yes! Of course!’.
These two guys are on my wavelength. They understand what it’s like to be a pantster who refuses to be bound by genre. But they also understand that writers need to be disciplined and to have a business head to deal with writing in the modern world. I have long struggled with the concept and act of marketing and promotion. It is foreign to my nature. I am suspicious of salesmen and marketers, considering them a bunch of exploitation merchants with morals that would make a sewer rat look like a saint. What these authors do in this book is to debunk our preconceived ideas of marketing and promotion. They explain, in a friendly, chatty and frank style, the reality of writing and getting your words before the reading public.
They understand that the story choses the genre; a phrase I’ve used for years. They get that writers who see themselves as artists are okay to do that. But they also understand that we, the writers, the creators of stories, need to earn some income in order to continue with our craft. Starving in the garret is not necessary. Hiding your light under a bush is not helpful to your readers.
What these guys do, in an entertaining, informed, educational and inspiring way, is enable you, as an artist, to separate your creative self from your business self and start to actually sell you books, and to do so without compromising your ethics or your idea of yourself as a writer.
I do have a complaint about the book. It is this. It should have been written twenty years ago, when I first started writing seriously. It’s no good trying to excuse the lack or delay by complaining that self-publishing was all but non-existent then, or that digital publishing was no more than a scifi dream. If this book had been around then, I’d be a wealthy writer by now, with a string of bestsellers to my name. Give me time, and, armed with the advice in this book, I’ll become that writer.
So, I have to just say, ‘Thank You’ to Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant for their insight, their openness, their extraordinary candour and their simple ability to express these vital lessons in words that sing to me. If you’re a writer who has struggled to get your name and work noticed, this is the book for you. If you have ever self-published and thought maybe your books could do better, this book is for you. If you’ve ever thought maybe you could write a book and publish it yourself, this book is for you. Buy it. You’ve missed out on the initial insanely cheap introductory offer, but if I were you, I’d pay ten times the current price. Read it. Follow the advice. I certainly will. I heartily recommend it to all struggling writers.
on 3 November 2014
I wish I'd read this book years ago. Shame these talented guys only published it this year. But, to be fair to them, they've been pretty busy following their own advice. If you've never heard from them before, check them out on the Self-publishing Podcast.
I can't remember how I came across them, but it was probably via the podcast. I'm so glad I did though. I self-published my first novel The Face Stealer in late 2013 and since then have been working on new novels. Being an Indie Author though, is a relatively new phenomenon and quite how you're supposed to go from being an unknown writer, to one with readers and earning money, is somewhat of a mystery. There are plenty of people out there claiming to have all the answers; they know how to get an instant readership, become successful overnight, earn millions from one book. But, basically they're all full of it. The true secrets of becoming a successful Indie Author are contained in this book.
Actually, that's a lie. The true secret is emblazoned boldly on the cover.
There are no secrets to self-publishing success and anyone who doesn't want to work at it, is going to be pretty miserable. This book is a guide from being that naive author just starting out, to being a successful author. It's doable, if you're willing to put the hours in.
This book has been one of two I've read recently that has changed my attitude to being an Indie Author and I'm happy to recommend it to anyone wanting to turn a writing hobby, into a career.
on 19 January 2014
Simply the best insight into self-publishing and writing I've read. Not only is there a wealth of advice in here that makes perfect sense, but it is written in such an engaging, informative and downright entertaining way that it hooks you in from the beginning. I've got both the kindle and paperback version and after a couple of weeks with them they are both full of notes, scribbles and post-its.
This isn't a book of magic tricks. It's successful writers (who write some pretty good stuff too) sharing their experiences on how they've done it. Not just the technical things they've done around marketing (what they call tactics) but how they've built their whole philosophy for their writing career (their strategy).
This book isn't going to teach you to write though. Pretty much doing the do is the only way to do that. What this book does do is shares some downright inspirational commentary about a writing mindset, as well as throwing out some ideas to make your work as good as you possibly can. What it then does is discuss what to do then (it's written in such a way that I felt as though the guys were in the room sharing a beer with me), from making it the best book you possibly can to getting it read by the people you want (or NEED) to read it. This is a book for people who want some motivation and more importantly, want to have a career writing stories that they enjoy.
I've gotten more inspiration out of this book than pretty much anything I've come across in my short time trying to put pen to paper. Since buying it I feel like the words have literally fallen out of me, desperate to put some of their hard won advice into action (in my own way, based on my own strategies). If that's not worth a tenner or so, I don't know what is.
I'd love to meet these guys and shake them by the hand. And then tell them they owe me a beer.
(If you like the book I can heartily recommend their podcast too. I've learnt a lot from that too)
on 2 January 2014
I've been listening to the self publishing podcast for a while now, which of course meant that as soon as Sean & Johnny announced they would write a self publishing book, I knew I must get a copy. Not only do these guys clearly know what they're talking about, listening to them every week is like a much needed kick in the ass and reminder that no matter how impossible things seem, and how far away success might be, hard work must pay off in the end. I'm not quite there yet, but I feel like I owe these guys (and Dave) a lot already.
So anyway, enough rambling about podcasts, back to the book. I didn't expect I'd get as much out of the book as I did. Because after all, I figured a lot of this knowledge had been passed around "on air" before. But I was wrong. It's an extremely valuable resource to me to get all the information in writing. I have a bit of a collection of writing and self publishing books by now, and generally find it hard to read all the way through. It takes me a while to finish a non fiction book because generally they tend to be dry and factual and difficult to digest. This one's different because it's like having a good friend coach you and explain things in a way that's easy to understand and remember. It goes without saying that I raced through and read it all in record time. And I'll probably re-read to try and retain more of it. Personally I think the sections on marketing were most valuable to me, both to firm up some things I'm already doing correctly and learning where to improve.
As soon as it came out I recommended this book to all my writer friends and I hope for their sake, they've looked beyond the gushing fangirling I did and actually paid attention to the book itself. If you're not sure, just read the sample and make up your own mind.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 May 2014
These guys have clearly done their homework and are walking their talk too. I've been reading a fair bit of writing on writing recently and this was a delight to read (written well - as you'd hope!), entertaining, hugely informative, full of direct and readily applicable advice, and honest. They're not saying it's easy but it is possible. And for anyone who's been around the publishing world a bit, possible can seem a long way away at times. Thanks for a great book guys :-)
on 29 January 2014
This is the most coherent and useful book about self-publishing that I've read. Sean and Johnny state that they have no 'golden nuggets' of wisdom to share, no quick wins, but they actually do. Just write. Then write some more. Then keep going till you lose your marbles.
I read this right around the time I'd almost finished my second novel and it helped me to feel positive about the fact that I was facing a good few years of writing prolifically before I could expect things to work out. Basically: create a large body of work that people will remember; not a flash in the pan that will be forgotten. Attract people to your art through product funnels, not obscurity.
At one point in the book I stopped to ask myself if Sean, Johnny (...and Dave...) were actually just one person writing under pen names, because the way they wrote typified the way my own feelings change about writing and self-publishing: huge puppy-gushes of optimism followed by dry, grounded rationalism and then the occasional bout of artistic screw-the-man, leave-me-alone nihilism. But they're real. Check out their podcast, it's true.
An excellent book for anyone trying to make sense of an industry in flux without losing their sense of humour.
on 31 December 2013
Firstly, and this is a bug bear of mine, you know when you are reading something and the author misuses an expression or turn of phrase, or there is a typo or something plainly inaccurate? This book doesn't have any of those moments to undermine its central message.
The entirety of the book flows and offers a coherent and persuasive whole. There is no feeling that anything is left out and no sense that you're being up-sold. Too many guides on kindle skirt what you would find useful, either to sell you another book from the same author or because the writer doesn't actually know their stuff. This feels authentic and is brimming with examples (actual examples, not hypotheticals) and reasoning.
It's easy to read and inspirational. Some of it isn't what you would hope to be told (that quantity as well as quality is as much a factor in success as luck and successful positioning) but all of it is practical and reasoned. The sources and bibliography are tightly interwoven into the narrative but this is both researched and full of first hand experience.
I'm convinced, even if I have little desire to read their fiction work.
on 12 December 2013
Yes, the hype's to be believed. This is the single best volume there is available for the already-published indie author. It probably won't suit people just starting out, as it deliberately doesn't offer detailed advice about formatting, the process of publishing, etc. Rather, it focuses on the basics a reasonably talented writer should focus on to make their work the best it can be, distribute it, and market it.
The concepts it introduces - funnelling, calls to action, and others - aren't radically new, but the way they're presented made me wonder why I hadn't consciously adopted them in my books before. This isn't some feel-good ego-massager of a book; the authors rub home time and again that building a successful indie publishing career involves an enormous amount of sustained, focused work. But unlike say Joe Konrath, who's forever emphasising the role of luck, Platt and Truant make a strong case that hard work will very often, and perhaps even usually, generate considerable income given enough time.
Worth rereading, and rereading for inspiration. I should also mention that it's extremely funny.
on 8 May 2015
This was an excellent read, and I would highly recommend it to any self-published author or those thinking of self-publishing. I wish I had come across it a year ago as it would have saved me from making some silly mistakes.
There were two main takeaways from this book for me. 1. Affirmation that I'm doing a lot of the right things now and 2. I picked up lots of other ideas for things I am not doing, that I will now apply.
I loved the conversational style of the writing and it suited me to a T. The guys are very honest about their own experiences to date and open about their personal lives, and it helped me connect to the material. I also found it very motivational and inspirational.
There was some repetition within the first third of the book, but I just skimmed over those parts.
I really enjoyed the author interviews at the back.
All in all, an excellent book. I've already recommended it to several people I know who are getting ready to self-publish.
Actua Rating: 4.5 Stars