Ruth's Reviews > The Truth About Writing

The Truth About Writing by Michael Allen
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Feb 14, 12

Read in February, 2012

Most authors who write a book and publish it expect the book to make them an instant success (regardless of whether they go with a publisher or not). A couple years ago, most authors strived for a traditional publisher, and this book gives an excellent inside look into the publishing industry. My research, discussions with traditionally published authors, and meeting agents and publishers support what Michael Allen says in this book. So if you are looking for a deeper look into the publishing industry (like what publishers want, why publishing is not going to always make authors successful, how they handle submissions), this book does a wonderful job of explaining it.

I self-publish, so my leaning is more toward the part of the book that took a look at what writers want, if they'll get it, emotion, finding time and energy to write, selling in the digital world, and the components of success. Again, this is stuff that has played out to be true when I've talked with self-published authors and did my research. Sadly, most authors who go into self-publishing focus way too much on selling a book instead of writing an emotionally satisfying book for those who read it. Self-publishing is seen (by most) as a get-rich-quick scheme. The reality is that it's not that, and it shouldn't be that. Michael Allen gets down to the nitty gritty of what a lot of authors are motivated by (money, fame, and literary acclaim) and why it's not as easy to get these things as they think. I think instead of believing they will be the next million-book-selling sensation, authors would do well to take what Michael Allen says to heart. It's not as easy as they assume, and a real, solid fanbase is best established with one reader at a time, which is done when authors focus on providing an emotionally satisfying read for the reader. I also liked his tips on finding energy and time to write.

This book wasn't only a great resource as a writer, but I thoroughly enjoyed Michael Allen's sense of humor. This book is definitely worth reading if you're an author.
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