Writing a book is a daunting task. Getting a book to publication and then to market is a seemingly monumental task. In the book Author Smarts: The Little Handbook of Big Book Publishing Ideas (eWomen Books, 2010) (Amazon.com), Jan B. King and Dawn Putney effectively break it all down for us in such a way that the monumental becomes the achievable. This book is a quick read, but it is chock full of information that the new and aspiring book author should know even before starting to write.
While King and Putney mainly address non-fiction writers in this book, they do an excellent job of taking the reader through the process and presenting ideas to be considered every step of the way. They begin with a section called “Write Your Book,” where they propose questions and suggest answers to help the aspiring author create a product that will appeal to the intended audience. From concept to manuscript, they share valuable information, especially for the do-it-yourselfer who wants to be in control of every aspect of the book’s development. Readers will no doubt walk away with a long to-do list, but they also will be armed with knowledge of how to approach these tasks.
Next, the authors move on to a section about publishing the book. These days it is no longer a given that authors have to rely on large publishing houses to get their books printed, marketed and distributed. While the commercial publishers are still alive and well, with some spending money and a little elbow grease, it is a viable option these days for an author to self publish a book. King and Putney present the pros and cons of both.
And finally, they cover marketing the book. This section includes a ton of ideas for getting that book out there in front of an audience and in the hands of readers.
After reading Author Smarts: The Little Handbook of Big Book Publishing Ideas, we feel empowered. With this knowledge, given the time and the right topic, perhaps even you can successfully navigate the process and become a published author, too.