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on 8 May 2014
I have written several non fiction books but I have been an aspiring fiction author for over 30 years, I've even started writing books and binned them after 40,000 words or so as the task just seemed too daunting. After reading this book I really got fired up to write again and am already up to 10,000 words on my first serialized fiction novel.

What made the difference?

For one, the guys Johnny B Truant, Sean Platt and David Wright all write serialized novels i.e. They write a six or nine book series of books, each one self contained, so they're really novellas. They also write full length novels, but to me writing serialized novels just made so much sense and gave me that feeling of 'I can do this' instead of thinking 'Jeez, 120,000 words is just too much'.

The section on story beats really made it for me though. Again it was like an 'a-ha' moment and really pushed the book I'm writing forward. It sounds like a really simple idea but truly it is a really powerful idea.

They also go into the marketing of your book which every author should know about, but they do it in such a way that it's genuine heart marketing: reaching your fans in a genuine and honest way.

The business of writing is also covered which is just great.

I said this was one of four resources you need, here are all four:

1. This book
2. Stephen King's 'On Writing' book - I have read this 5 times over the last few years.
3. Scrivener (Amazing must have tool for all writers)
4. The Self Publishing Podcast (A video and audio podcast by the guys who wrote this book. It is funny, smart and just bloody amazing with some fantastic information for indie authors)

If you're into writing and willing to put in the work required this book and the resources above will definitely get you there.
17 people found this helpful
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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
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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.
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on 30 June 2015
This book directly led to me publishing my first novel this year after a long time of hanging about, not quite knowing what to do with my writing. I knew I wanted to publish, but this book gave me the right kind of encouraging kick up the butt to get on and do it. Easy to read, easy to follow and easy to get enthused about if, like me, you write a lot and want to continue to do so.
I bought the kindle version first and now have the paperback too, because it is that good (!) and also because I like to refer to it as a little dip-in-an-out guide now as I'm working on my second book... see? The advice works!

Seriously good advice, written in an approachable and funny way. Five stars, and thanks guys, you really helped me out.
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on 17 September 2017
A great book for all writers out there. What I like most about it is that they never shy away from the cold, hard truth - you just need to write. It's full of great advice and guidance for aspiring authors, but none of it will be of any use to you unless you get your butt in the chair and write. You need to tackle your writing business with two 'hats' - a creative one when it's time to write the damn book and the business one when its time to promote and market it. This book gives you great tips for both of these. Now stop reading this review and go get on with your writing! Shoo!
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on 26 August 2017
Whether you're a screenwriter or novelist, this incredibly useful book offers a wealth of practical advice on story concept, plot structure, character development and an in-depth section on scene writing. Through analysis of the most commercially successful films, Hauge examines the specific techniques for writing great action, on-the-nose dialogue, compelling and credible characters that illustrate how to elicit a positive emotional response from an audience/reader in order to create a story that will sell. The final section on marketing and pitching a story concept gives a fascinating insight into the film industry in general, but was of less relevance to me as a novelist. I will definitely be keeping this book on my reference shelf for future use. Can highly recommend.
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on 20 March 2014
As an indie author with three books already under my belt, I know how hard the whole process is. There is no “silver bullet” for success, only as Jonny and Sean say, a lot of hard work; though the trick is to work smarter and not harder. ‘How to’ books like this are useful as a way of assessing your actives – writing and selling – against others experiences. They provide an opportunity to find new / better ways of doing things; so working smarter.
Packed with information, hints, tips and examples there is plenty to dwell on and take in. Written in a chatty style, for me, this approach generates too much verbiage over substance. I’d take out the waffle and reduce the book by a third. This wouldn’t diminish its impact or usefulness – quite the opposite. That said, the best advice I took from this book is “…writing more is … the best way to find readers, and writing more is … the best way to turn some of those readers into fans.” And fans are the key to your success.
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on 16 June 2018
What an incredible book. It's jam packed with practical advice and tips on how to make it as an indie author, but the main thing I noticed as I read it was how the authors' words gave me hope and optimism for the future and now I'm thinking in a whole new way about how to write and market my books. A must have for anyone at any stage of the self publishing process. There aren't enough stars to rate this book.
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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).
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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.
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