Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Fun Reading "The Fine Print"

I am in the midst of reading Mark Levine's excellent book The Fine Print of Self-Publishing, and am thoroughly enjoying the experience.

Mr. Levine was a practicing corporate and entertainment attorney for nearly a decade. He is now CEO of Click Industries, Ltd..

In "The Fine Print of Self-Publishing," Levine not only demystifies the process of skipping the rejection-letter collection game once one commits to getting one's book in print, but he also does the unthinkable. He talks dollars and cents. He decodes standard publishing contracts. And he names names. Real names of real self-publishers, complete with website URLs, contact information, and standard publishing services offered.

A significant portion of the book (now in its third edition) is committed to evaluating 45 self-publishing companies -- analyzing what they offer and ranking them for service, production, value, and ethics.

Eight companies earn the rank of "Outstanding."

Nine are "Pretty Good."

Seven are "Just OK."

And readers are warned to "Avoid" a frightening 21!

Levine's style is engaging, humorous, self-deprecating, and straight-forward. By page 35 (the book is over 300 pages), the information in the book has more than paid for the purchase price. I was especially impressed with his no-nonsense approach to marketing, his debunking of unrealistic expectations, and his advice on how to know when self-publishing is the right step in a writer's career.

This is an excellent resource for anyone entertaining the thought of "going it alone" in the publishing world. I consider it an invaluable addition to my reference books.

When Worlds Collide

In a few days, I leave for a multi-day meeting with one of my Major Clients to discuss the progress and future of the VIP project that has been occupying many of my waking thoughts (and a few of the slumbering synapses as well).

Ryan's book is still in a holding pattern, but I spoke with my publisher the other day, and am in the process of considering what appears to be a very exciting new book project. I just received an outline / book idea / proposal, and will spend some time looking that over this afternoon. But what I've heard is exciting -- especially because it would involve working with an industry legend. Heaven knows how I love to do that!

Further bulletins as events warrant on that front. In the meantime, there is no shortage of things to be done. So I'm reluctantly going to put "The Fine Print..." aside for the moment, and attend to the "Fine Art" of writing for the rest of the day.