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Success Stories

by Francine Silverman

ISBN 0741424312
Infinity Publishing, 2005
400pp, paperback
Retail price $18.95 

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This book is exactly what its title tells us it is; a guide to marketing your novel, non-fiction work, poetry book or whatever, presented in an A-Z format. As such, it is not a work intended to be read from cover to cover like a novel, non-fiction work, poetry book or whatever. Nevertheless, as I was going to review it, I felt compelled to do just that.

I must report back that treating this book in that way, it does tend to be rather repetitive, tedious and, it must be said, boring. However, it isn’t meant to be treated in that way. It’s a self-help manual and, as such, it contains lots and lots of information that could be of use to people publishing their own books.

In fact, the information has already been of help to people publishing their own books because it all comes from people who have published their own books. A great many of these people have been contacted by the compiler and have offered their thoughts, tips and ideas. It is purely up to the reader, who will also be a writer, which of these thoughts, tips and ideas will be useful to them.

The book is organised in an A-Z format so that it is easy to go directly to the bit that interests you. Thus if you’re interested in advertising your work, there’s a section, if you’re looking for organisations that can be of use to you, there’s a section, and if you’re interested in the internet, there’s rather a large section. In fact, if there’s one tip that stands out in this book it is get yourself a web-site. You can give your web-address out to people in lots of different ways and it seems to be the promotional tool that surpasses all others.

Apart from the purely practical aspect of this book, and I do think it could be very useful, the really fascinating thing is the titles of some of the books that the contributors to this guide have published. Here are a few examples: The World According to Dog: Poems and Teen Voices, Make It Happen! Use Your Intuition and Positive Spirals, Celery Soup for the Heart, Hairdresser to the Stars: A Hollywood Memoir, Fulk the Reluctant and The Soul of Success – 7 Steps to Monetary and Spiritual Wealth for a Rich, Meaningful Life.

Some of the authors of the above have sold tens of these books, some have sold hundreds and some have sold thousands. All let you know how they did it.

The book is very American-orientated but, as the world gets smaller, all ideas are adaptable. See what you can adapt from this book but don’t, whatever you do, try reading it from cover to cover. I had to, you don’t!

Open Book

Review by Chris Williams

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