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78 Reasons Why Your Book May Never Be Published and 14 Reasons Why It Just Might

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  176 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
For the hundreds of thousands who buy writers’ guides every year, at last there’s one that tells the ugly truth: writers who can’t get published are usually making a lot of mistakes. This honest, often funny, book shows them how to identify their own missteps, stop listening to bad advice, and get to work. Drawing on his experience as founding editor of MacAdam/Cage, Pat W ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published June 7th 2005 by Penguin Books
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Keysha Whitaker
Jul 15, 2008 Keysha Whitaker rated it really liked it
Okay - there's no doubt that Pat Walsh is an accomplished exec in the publishing industry. As editor at independent press MacAdam/Cage (at least at the time of the printing) he exposes the water cooler talk about your prized submission.

The beginning of the book starts with the 78 reasons why your book "MAY NEVER BE PUBLISHED". Up until around 45, my gut reaction was "Good point Walsh!" or "What idiot does that, Walsh?"

But by the time I got to 60, I felt the reasons were more variations of previ
...more
Kim
Feb 17, 2009 Kim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing
There aren't a lot of writing books out there that say, "You may not get published because your writing may suck." This one does. It's funny, sarcastic, blunt, and terribly informative.

This is not a warm-fuzzy reassuring book. If you want a slice of cold, hard reality, read this book.
Jaclyn
Jul 25, 2016 Jaclyn rated it really liked it
Excellent tips here. Great conversational and sassy writing style. This book is highlighted and sticky'noted to death, and it left me feeling really hopeful. Not delusional, but full of possibility. Which is pretty cool--I figure it'd go that way or wanting to trash the whole thing.
Suzie Quint
Oct 18, 2014 Suzie Quint rated it did not like it
Even though self-publishing has come into its own, I'm always interested in books by agents and editors. I even read Pat Walsh's book How to Win the World Series of Poker (or Not): An All-American Tale and enjoyed it. This book, I'm not so impressed with.

The main reason is that I don't believe that the writers who might need to read it will, but even if they do, I don't think they'll recognize themselves as needing it.

Even if they should, the "reasons" aren't all that helpful.

The full review is
...more
Courtney Fishell
Jun 18, 2011 Courtney Fishell rated it really liked it
Although harsh and to the point, I found this book incredibly useful. I am trying to get published myself and have been doing research nonstop in order to really get ready for query time. I am one that really wants to hear the not so happy stuff before I lunge into action with high expectations, so the title of this book attracted me right off the bat.

I read this book after attending a talk at Changing Hands Bookstore about getting published. My sister purchased it and read it before I did sinc
...more
Ilaria
Nov 15, 2010 Ilaria added it
Un editor svela qualche segreto (di pulcinella) del mondo editoriale. Non si fa scrupolo di prendere a male parole e a pesci in faccia l'aspirante autore; speriamo che gli aspiranti siano abbastanza umili da leggerlo, però. Già i titoli dei "78 motivi" fanno morire dal ridere: non verrete pubblicati perché "Non vi accorgete che non gliene frega niente a nessuno" (dell'argomento), "usate metafore e similitudini brutte", "avete un'idea molto vaga della grammatica". Ma anche: "Non capite la sottile ...more
Chris Youngblood
Feb 16, 2011 Chris Youngblood rated it liked it
While I appreciate this book's candor in discussing why or why not their book may be published, I have to wonder at the accuracy of certain of the assertions made therein, especially in light of some of the more recent offerings that the publishing world has given us.

Case in point: the entire Twilight stalker-disguised-as-twoo-wuv series. Mr. Walsh's #2 rule from his book is It's Not Good Enough, and after having tried to slag through the first chapter of the aforementioned Stephenie Meyer offer
...more
Heather
Apr 06, 2009 Heather rated it liked it
Recommends it for: aspiring writers
Shelves: writing
This was a three-star ("liked it") book for me mainly because it didn't suck me in . . . but that is not to say that it isn't a very important book. It's time to take all of the feel-good compliments that the people who love you give about your writing and wake up to the real world.

The number one reason that Pat Walsh, an editor at MacAdam/Cage, gives that your book will never be published is that you have not written it. Talk is cheap, and writing is very difficult.

Throughout the book, Mr. Wals
...more
Melissa Conway
Jun 07, 2011 Melissa Conway rated it it was amazing
78 Reasons Why Your Book May Never be Published & 14 Reasons Why it Just Might (let’s prune that from now on to 78/14, shall we?) is a slim-ish volume, but it’s not an easy read. The first time I read it, it took me weeks to plow through those first ruthless 78 to get to the promised nougatty center of the 14. I’d make it through a chapter, barely conscious after being bludgeoned over the head repeatedly with the cold hard reality of my chances at ever getting published, then after each slow ...more
Lain
Dec 01, 2007 Lain rated it really liked it
I can't remember the last time I laughed out loud at a book. I certainly didn't expect to get my first good guffaw in years from a book on writing. But if anything, author and editor Pat Walsh specializes in the out-of-the-ordinary. Not only does Walsh offer great insider tips to writers, he does so with humor, self-deprecation, and experience.

While there isn't a ton of new material here (most experienced writers already know not to use glittery paper and heart stickers when submitting their ma
...more
Amber Brown
This book should be read by every single aspiring author in the world.
The things Walsh brings up are things that editors and agents alike have literally told me to my face as being absolutely TRUE. These are topics that MUST be addressed, and are not nearly as often as they should be. So many writers completely ignore the appropriate protocol with getting represented and published, and then they complain about the publishing industry.
Walsh's writing is very accessible as well, and funny. He ke
...more
Nicole Lynn Hoefs
Apr 28, 2015 Nicole Lynn Hoefs rated it really liked it
This book was pretty informative. It tells you the truth no matter how hard it might be for some to hear. I'll probably buy a copy to reference when I start sending out copies of my manuscripts since it has some nice tips on what to not do.
Jessica
Aug 05, 2010 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The most valuable sections of the book were the first section (what you may be doing wrong in writing your book) and the last section (what you should be doing right in writing, editing, and submitting your book). The sections in the middle about the publishing industry from agents to editors to book sellers was useful, but it wasn't as engaging. I read it once, but I think that's enough. I can't see myself going back to reference the middle sections as I know I'll be referencing the beginning a ...more
Alan Cunningham
Jul 17, 2014 Alan Cunningham rated it it was amazing
This little bathroom reader has great chapter lengths and was a quick, easy, and informative read on the inner workings of the opaque publishing process. At least as much as an author needs to know.
Angela Kidd Shinozaki
Apr 21, 2012 Angela Kidd Shinozaki rated it it was ok
This book is okay. You should certainly read it if you are an aspiring writer getting a lot of rejections and wondering where you are going wrong. But if you are an aspiring writer trying to get your feet wet, don't read this book. It might just make you take a desk job. I think I just enjoy positive reinforcement rather than negative. It makes me work harder. I can definitely tell this is written from an editor's point a view. No creativity there. Try reading Writing Down the Bones or The War o ...more
Jay Kauffman
Dec 04, 2007 Jay Kauffman rated it really liked it
if you're psychologically ready to look past the barrage of "anyone-can-do-it" titles that convince you fame and success is just around the corner if you just make your cover letter flashy enough, read this book. Some examples of the author's reasons why your book may never be published: Reason #1: you haven't written it.
Reason #2: It's not good enough.

and so on.

It's just one person's point of view, but at least he's being honest. I think it's a refreshing dose of reality. Plus, it actually has
...more
Jessica
Jan 17, 2016 Jessica rated it really liked it
Good advice.
V. L. Craven
Oct 09, 2014 V. L. Craven rated it it was amazing
Shelves: all-time-favs
Walsh's book shows the ins and outs of the publishing industry by an editor at a publishing house that seeks out undiscovered talent—that gives him a particular insight into what aspiring authors do wrong and what will trip up even the most gifted writers. I want to buy a stack of this and give it to every self-published writer out there. As well as anyone else who may be considering taking on writing as a career. Funny and straightforward—just what writers need.
Paul
Jul 17, 2008 Paul rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: aspiring authors
Shelves: writing
A brutally honest perspective from an editor about what can prevent you from being able to get your book published as well as some tips for how you can improve your chances. I think this book can provide a more realistic perspective to authors who want to publish to counteract the wave of self help books which make getting published seem easy (i.e. they tell prospective published authors what they want to hear in order to sell their "how-to" books).
Stacy
Apr 05, 2008 Stacy rated it really liked it
I came to Pat Walsh’s publisher insider cautionary tale via folks in my writing group. It’s no surprise that this is the most honest, scary, inspiring and emotionally satisfying book on publishing I’ve read in the short time since I quit advertising and televison production to work on my own writing and embark on the arduous journey of getting my own work published. I know I will be returning to this book to laugh and cry throughout the upcoming years.
Kevin Black
Sep 30, 2013 Kevin Black rated it liked it
The author and goal of this book are somewhat similar to those of [Lukeman, The First Five Pages. The style is different but it is also engaging. The focus is partly on the writing but partly on other matters such as finding an appropriate agent and writing in an area you know. I liked it just as well. Note, if I remember correctly the number one reason your book will not be published is because you have not written it.
Jennifer Gilbert
Feb 23, 2009 Jennifer Gilbert rated it it was amazing
I don't know that this book is going to tell you anything you don't already know, if you've paid any attention to the publishing industry at all. But I love this guy. His top reason your book hasn't been published is "You haven't written it yet," followed closely by "It isn't very good." AMEN, BROTHER.

A lot of what he says is common sense, something wildly ignored by the egomaniacal writing community most of the time.
Alex
Jan 30, 2010 Alex rated it really liked it
This is a good, but snarky, look at the publishing business. Pat Welsh runs an independent press that is best known for fishing "The Time Traveler's Wife" from the slush pile. Certainly that alone is impressive. His book offers good advice for first time writers, and I would strongly recommend reading it before querying agents. I got annoyed at times with the author's mean-spiritedness, but most of the advice is sound.
Faith
Feb 16, 2014 Faith rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This was a very entertaining and inforamative book. There was humor, helpful tips, logical and clear reasons why a lot of writers are not successful. It had a lot of good things in it. As an unpublished writer, I think I will be looking at this book a few times a year to keep me on track.
Kathy
Oct 28, 2010 Kathy added it
I went to a lecture by Amy Stewart and asked her about the publishing process, since she has been very successful. She recommended this book to me. It is really fun to read just for the heck of it, and actually very helpful if you think you want to write anything that might get to print. Walsh gets straight to the point, no holds barred. For instance, tip 1: You haven't written it yet.
Jen3n
Jul 10, 2009 Jen3n rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Eh. I suppose some people need to hear the things written in this book. For me, though, I think most of these things are sort-of obvious and common sense. I know that a book won't be published if it isn't written. Or if it isn't properly edited. Egads.

It was nicely written itself, though, so I gave it two stars. Why not?
Joanna
Jun 21, 2012 Joanna rated it really liked it
Great advice from an editor in the business. I actually went against his advice and read this before finishing my manuscript. I'm happy to have the do's and do-not's before doing it all wrong in the first place. This gave me a lot of healthy perspective and set my expectations right. My hopes are high, but my expectations reasonable.
Lori Rader-Day
Nov 01, 2010 Lori Rader-Day rated it really liked it
A re-read, basically because Pat friended me on this web site and reminded me how much I like this book. My husband has a theory that re-reads don't count, but he's full of it. They count if you READ IT AGAIN. Still liked this book a lot. It's best for someone with a full manuscript. Which is what the author says right off.
Frank
May 25, 2012 Frank rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: prestito
Niente di speciale questo libro.
Un lungo elenco di cose da evitare ed una piccola lista di consigli da seguire.
Più un trattato di buon senso che scoperte del secolo.
D'altra parte non poteva essere diversamente.
Tempo di lettura: 4h 15m
Camillacan
Nov 28, 2010 Camillacan rated it it was amazing
Vuoi fare lo scrittore? Sappi che non sei l'unico, e non solo: sappi anche che hai la metà dellle possibilità che pensavi di avere di vedere il tuo libro pubblicato.
Sto scherzando!
Ma il libro di Pat walsh leggilo, che male non può farti.
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“We do not like the truth because it is simple, we do not want the truth because it is hard, and we do not trust the truth because it is free.

Perhaps because many are idealists and publishing is so frustrating, writers are particularly vulnerable to believing in those who offer hope in exchange for cash. Writers know life is tough and we all want to think of an easier way. Maybe for a rare few, there is. If you count on that, you are a chump and somebody is going to take your money and break your heart.”
8 likes
“You have made some notes, read some writing books, and done some research. Mostly what you've done is talk about writing a book. An idea for a book is not a book; it is a waste of time. There is no singular thing that makes someone a writer, but there is one thing that makes someone a joke--talking about writing a book without doing any work.” 8 likes
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