There are many books that promise to help aspiring writers. Jump Start your Publishing Dreams by Terry Whalin is one that actually delivers. Not only is it packed full of useful information, it points the reader to other resources that provide additional details or help on the topics covered in this book. I found many of these recommendations extremely valuable. Each chapter also gives a step-by-step action plan to assist the reader to put into practice the information covered.
One especially helpful chapter details some of the realities of the publishing world. For anyone with little to no publishing experience, this chapter alone is worth the price of the book. Not only will this help a new author develop realistic expectations, but Whalin also gives practical tips for setting goals and working productively toward them.
Whalin emphasizes the importance of learning to write well. He points out that like in any other profession, some kind of apprenticeship is necessary for anyone who wants to truly excel. Obtaining feedback from others and reading extensively are just two of the ways suggested.
While much of the book discusses the writing and publishing of books, Whalin also devotes time to other forms of writing, going into detail on the process of writing for magazines. Another chapter gives interviewing techniques, which will be helpful to any writer wishing to develop this skill. Still another gives insider tips on how to increase the odds of getting published. One key: read the publication’s guidelines for submission before actually writing and submitting an article.
Another harsh reality of the business covered in the book is the fact that writers, who typically enjoy their time alone with their thoughts, have to forgo that pleasure in order to be successful. Whether it is getting involved with writers’ groups or developing a platform, much of the onus of marketing a book falls on the author. And marketing is a task that involves engaging other people.
I wish I had read this book many years ago, or at least before I published my own book. The advice and tips in the book would have saved me many mistakes and would have helped tremendously in my marketing efforts.
Now, two years after publishing my book, I still refer to Jump Start from time to time. Some of the strategies and tips that I skipped the first time (or forgot about!) are now part of my marketing plan. Buy this book: you won’t regret it.