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Writer Tells All: Insider Secrets to Getting Your Book Published

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A witty and candid firsthand account — for writers by a writer — on how to write, sell, publish, and promote a book.

This invaluable book is written by a working writer — not a professor, not a publisher, not an editor, not an agent. Robert Masello is a writer who speaks his mind with absolute candor on everything aspiring book authors need to know. He explains the publishing process step by step -what to expect, how it works, and what authors can do at each point to keep things...

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Overview

A witty and candid firsthand account — for writers by a writer — on how to write, sell, publish, and promote a book.

This invaluable book is written by a working writer — not a professor, not a publisher, not an editor, not an agent. Robert Masello is a writer who speaks his mind with absolute candor on everything aspiring book authors need to know. He explains the publishing process step by step -what to expect, how it works, and what authors can do at each point to keep things going smoothly. Equally important, Masello has a lot of fun doing it. His book is filled with sometimes hilarious anecdotes from his own experiences in the trenches of publishing.

Writer Tells All covers many topics along the way, both large and small, including the things every writer needs to know: choosing a book topic (fiction or nonfiction), writing the proposal, selecting an agent, understanding book contracts, finding an editor, losing an editor, following the production process from manuscript to bound book, using your own savvy and contacts to maximize the effect of marketing, and publicizing the finished product.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In Writer Tells All: Insider Secrets to Getting Your Book Published, Robert Masello, who has already written 13 other books, including A Friend in the Business, delivers exactly what his title promises, and he does it in a spirit of camaraderie and good fun. Although Masello's enthusiasm can make his prose long-winded, he covers everything from the idea of writing a book, to getting an agent and working with an editor, to promotion and sales. Writers who dream of being published will find the insights from Masello's many anecdotes well worth the effort. ( Apr. 10) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Do we really need another book telling novice writers the tricks of the trade? Apparently, Masello (Raising Hell, Berkeley Publishing Group, 1996) thinks so. Not so much a how-to summary of the finer points of composition and rhetoric, this is instead a guide to the competitive world of book publishing that takes the amateur writer on a journey from burgeoning idea through book tours, television interviews, and future book proposals. Along the way, we learn the difference between a book editor and a copy editor, how to negotiate a deal, the importance of cover art, the problems with genre snobbery, and how to combat the effects of celebrity. While all of this might be unfamiliar territory to most beginning writers and therefore of some interest, Masello's anecdotal style and name-dropping approach is more entertaining than informative and glosses over the necessary elements of talent, discipline, and technical skill. A lightweight contribution to an over crowded field; buy only as needed. Denise Sticha, Murrysville Community Lib., PA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805065510
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/28/2001
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.98 (w) x 8.24 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Masello is the author of three novels and ten nonfiction books, including A Fri in the Business. He has taught writing classes at the Columbia University School of Journalism and UCLA Extension. He is currently executive story editor for the Aaron Spelling television series Charmed.

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Table of Contents

Part I Art
Mission Statement 3
Confronting the Monster 7
Clearing the Hurdles 12
The Quota System 15
Your Worst Boss 19
Fact or Fiction 22
The Hydraulic Theory 27
"Why Don't You Write One of Those Sidney Sheldon Books?" 32
Outlining Nonfiction 36
Proposing Nonfiction 44
Proposing Fiction 51
Genre Snobbery 56
Title Search 60
Muzzling the Three-Headed Dog 67
My Grandmother's Cadillac 75
Part II Commerce and Craft
Bagging an Agent 81
The Perfect Agent 91
Submission and Acceptance 103
Art of the Deal 113
The Sea of Legalese 122
The Editor Idealized 134
The Editor in Practice 144
Revisionist Misery 149
Blue Pencil, White Knuckles 152
The Cover Story 157
Galley Slaves 163
Part III Celebrity
Of Catalogs and Conferences 169
The Song of Yourself 173
The New Arrival 181
Publication Day 184
"You Want Me to Buy a Copy?" 190
The Critical Consensus 192
If This Is Tuesday 199
Talking Head 207
Still Talking 215
Hollywood Calling 220
Other Paths to Glory 226
"And Now for My Next Trick ..." 232
Index 237
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2003

    Excellent book covering the 'First Book' writing process

    It's an old cliche but I wish I'd had this book a few months ago when I was negotiating my first book contract. There is a lot of good info in 'Writer Tells All,' covering the high and low points of writing a first book. <P> Some reviewers have railed against this title, saying that it's yet another 'you can do it' book, but I didn't find that to be the case. I already write for a living, so I tend to find those 'go for it' books to be boring and pointless for me--of course I know I can finish what I write; I do that every day. Instead, I found that this book did a great job of exploring the minute details and experiences that I¿ve come across, and answering a number of questions that I had. <P> While this book is relatively lighthearted, it's not a lightweight book--there's a lot of useful and legitimate info, from how to come up with a decent title, to how to deal with all the people who want free copies of your book (I haven't even handed in my manuscript to my publisher yet and I've already had more than 70 people ask for free copies; as you might expect, I found his advice very useful).<P> Due to the format of using many small chapters, I was able to quickly dig through it and find a section on whatever problem I was facing at the moment. Each time, there would be a few ideas of how to approach the problem--some great, some a bit silly, but all of interest. Of particular importance to me, was that the book evenly divided its attention between fiction and nonfiction--books of this sort seem to always focus on fiction, which is useless to me with my current project. <P> Some web reviews were pretty harsh, noting that it doesn't provide massive factual examples--say, a 15-page example of a book proposal, for instance. Frankly, that would stop the flow of 'Writer Tells All' dead, plus there's entire books out there about how to write a book proposal. On the other hand, I did find that the book sometimes promises more than it can deliver (the aforementioned chapter on titles could have used some more name-generating ideas, for instance). Also, the writing style meandered quite a bit, often merely to throw in a few gags. While I love stupid jokes as much as the next guy, it sometimes felt as if the points were there to illustrate the humor, as opposed to the other way around. <P> Nonetheless, I dug 'Writer Tells All.' Unfortunately for the author (but great for me), I found my copy for $2 while browsing a street seller¿s table in New York City. As a result, I can honestly say, 'Writer Tells All' was worth every penny and then some.

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