Saturday, January 23, 2010
Review of The Writer's Essential Tackle Box
With the abundance of how-to-write blogs or books on the market, Lynn Price, of Behler Publications, tackles the issue from a fresh perspective in The Writer’s Essential Tackle Box. It’s not a fish story. She deals with essential issues; some, that others do not cover.
The process can be daunting for a published author, re-entering the game, or the newbie, bursting with story ideas. Ms. Price gives an insider’s view of the industry using a Question and Answer format, interviewing the Who’s Who of the publishing world. Ms. Price’s experts tell what works. Her pithy remarks corroborate, while engaging the reader with humor.
Navigating the book is easy. The four sections: The Interviews-Casting the flyrod, “Forget the bait, pass me the Maalox”: The Submission Process, “Chumming the Waters,” and “The Writer’s Survival Style Guide” have subheadings, which direct the reader to specific topics—no need to use the index. However, the latter avails a quick search.
Section 1: The Interviews offers over 200 pages packed with pragmatic approaches from the Who’s Who of agents, editors, reviewers, publishers both big and small, book shepherds, and vanity presses. Information on tours and bookstore signings, illustrators and cover design, distribution, and warehousing are included, as well as connecting with the cyber world and internet resources. Why authors need publicists and public relations specialists is explained and website creation is no longer the elusive fish. Ms. Price hooks the reader with her introductions to those interviewed and summaries.
Section 2: “Forget the bait, pass me the Maalox”: The Submission Process provides the prospective author with a step-by-step, hilarious approach to the often painful journey. Here, the pragmatic lessons begin: busting the myths that are foisted on anxious writers, enumerating instructions on The Log Line, the Pitch, the Author’s Bio, query letters, synopses, and the fateful rejection. However, this section ends on a high note with the Promotion plan.
Section 3: “Chumming the Waters” distinguishes types of publishers and vanity presses, addressing Print-on-Demand. Ms. Price itemizes the nitty-gritty issues in succinct nibbles: cash flow, print runs, pricing, reviews, marketing, sales force, disclosure so the author can make informed choices.
Section 4: “The Writer’s Survival Style Guide” is packed, like sardines, with the ‘worst and best examples’ of writing. A writer learns to recognize a ‘sick’ Submission and give it a proper four-part autopsy. A worthy submission may emerge after the surgery on the fluffitis, backstoryosis, dialog tagococcal, pointofviewicemia and overloaded descriptions with a heavy emphasis on telling instead of showing. Though she doesn’t insure a resurrection is possible, her examples offer hope that a story may recover from a case of dullitis.
Ms. Price anticipates questions that writers, navigating the industry, might have. She presents a lexicon with clear examples showing how it should be done. This book serves all levels of writers with the sage reminders, profound insights, and recommendations, to say nothing of her omnipresent wit.
Some books lend themselves to becoming dog-eared—no doubt supported by her infamous margarita-making-beagle. Thumbed pages and bent corners reflect its usefulness. This book meets that criterion because it satisfies a need in every writer. For the price of one book, anyone may have a single comprehensive reference on the industry. Ms. Price has removed any excuse for someone not to tackle writing and editing. The Writer’s Essential Tackle Box is available from Behler Publications, your local bookseller and online.
List price: $19.95
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Behler Publications (November 1, 2009)