How to Publish a Book Book
So you want to know how to publish a book book—no, that’s not a typo.
It’s simply a way of pointing out that many published books that look and feel like books, are not.
How can you tell if a book is a book?
More important than answering this question is to ask another: Does it really matter?
Yes. And no.
A book book or real book, will be written well.
If it’s non-fiction, the material will be well organized; it will have a theme that is stated at the beginning. You will know why the author wrote the book and what they intend their readers to learn or take away from it (this is often called the “take-away”).
The writing will be clear and easy to understand. The author will back up factual material with sufficient references that are footnoted. Footnotes will be accessible at the bottom of each page, end of the chapter, or at the end of the book in a special section titled “Notes.”
Contents will not be repetitive. The author will state the material, provide illustrations or demonstrations, deliver everything they want to say, and leave. A good writer will not want to waste your time by repeating themselves ad nauseum!
The book will be about the subject matter and not about the author (unless, of course, it’s an autobiography and the author is the main subject). Posturing or telling the reader how brilliant they are is considered poor taste—and poor writing.
A fiction work will deliver the all-important "who, what, where, when, why" and sometimes "how" as well, within the first page or two. The reader will have a road map they can easily follow.
The writing will be fresh, vibrant and rich with imagery. Characters will leap to life on the page. You the reader will be able to see and feel them in 3-D.
The author will know how to keep the story line moving... quickly and effectively. I like to cite Dan Brown’s novel, Angels and Demons, as one of the best examples of skillful fiction writing that is both riveting and compelling. It took wild horses and a ringing phone during business hours to pull me away from this novel when I first read it!
Books of poetry will be original and fresh. The works will say something in a different way. They will be rich with metaphors and images. The best poetry teacher I know is Rainer Maria Rilke. I recommend his essay, "Letter to a Young Poet,” to all aspiring poets and writers.
My definition of poetry is "the inner dance of the soul." Since each soul is unique, if authentic, so is each "dance."
Is there a book doctor in the house?
Yes. That’s what I do. I teach people how to publish a book book. Often I take a work that is still a rough draft, or I take fragments that a person has collected over time, and develop them into a book.
I perform the necessary surgery that will insure delivery of a work that follows my own list of qualifications.
I am also a book shepherd, a term that has become vogue recently--although I prefer to call myself a publishing mentor. “Shepherd” has the connotation of leading sheep or people who don’t really know what they’re doing. Or, guiding people who will agree to anything you the shepherd tell them to do. They will follow the group.
Dandelion Books has built its reputation on producing books that are unique and often outrageous. I like to encourage other writers to “do it their way.” I also like to work with individuals who are not aspiring to be people and public pleasers.
Dandelion titles bear the unique stamp of being edited, proofed, designed and laid out by professionals; printed and distributed digitally by the best companies in the world; and marketed by companies that have a passion for helping authors and publishers get top sales.
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Carol Adler is the Official Guide for Publishing Expert at SelfGrowth.com
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