Monday, January 12, 2009

Authors Access: 30 Success Secrets for Authors and Publishers


Edited by Irene Watson, Tyler R. Tichelaar, Victor R. Volkman
Modern History Press (2009)
ISBN 9781932690989
Reviewed by Vicki Landes for Reader Views (11/08)

Not too long ago, the only way to obtain the coveted title of 'author' was to sign with a traditional publishing company…and that was only for the extremely lucky ones.  The hopeful author spent a great deal of time writing query letters, contacting agents and editors, nervously waiting for replies, and knowing there are many more 'no thanks' in this business than 'welcome to the team.'  With the advent of self-publishing, the industry has literally exploded with hundreds of thousands of books on every imaginable subject.  But when everyone from your grandma to your neighbor's cat has the ability to publish a book, what can you do to ensure yours stands out above the rest?  Editors Irene Watson, Tyler R. Tichelaar, and Victor R. Volkman believe they have the answers.
"Authors Access: 30 Success Secrets for Authors and Publishers" is a compilation of podcast interviews of award-winning authors, editors, publishers, publicists, business owners, consultants, freelance writers, and book reviewers.  Within 200+ pages, they guide the prospective writer through many of the obstacles faced and common mistakes made in DIY publishing while making certain the finished product is as marketable as those published by established publishing companies.  Further, and as many new authors come to realize, there is just as much work after your book has been published.  "Authors Access" continues to provide sound information on promotion, obtaining book reviews, hiring a publicist, and making the most of today's technological advances.  
With an already innumerable amount of publishing how-to books on the market today, what makes "Authors Access" so special?  Consider this:  most of these types of books are written by one, sometimes two or even a small group of experts in a specific field of the greater publishing world.  This person, whether a published author, editor, or agent has extensive experience doing whatever it is that they do best.  However, their how-to books are limited to their road to victory.  Want a second opinion on how to be a publishing success?  Read another book…and another and another.  With "Author Access," you have the advice, the techniques, and the proven track record of many professionals from all aspects of the business…and in one concise book.  Additionally, there is a natural flow to the book; organized and edited in such a way that there is seamless cohesion despite the number of different 'expert voices' sounding out. 
"Authors Access: 30 Success Secrets for Authors and Publishers" is a must-read for any first time writer or self-published author looking to improve their skills.  As a self-published author myself, I've got lists of 'mistakes made' and 'lessons learned' from my experience.  As I read "Authors Access" I kept finding myself saying, "Oh, great idea!" or "I wish I'd thought of that before."  My lists are now being supplemented with 'here's what to do next time.'  There's a wealth of information in these pages; enough to keep you motivated and on the right track without bogging you down in 'information overload.' 
Although self-publishing has allowed many writers to fulfill their dreams, it has also inundated the industry with books considered substandard and unmarketable to traditional publishers.  Many wide-eyed, naïve authors have taken advantage of the opportunity to self-publish and their efforts have turned into an expensive disappointment.  Within "Authors Access: 30 Success Secrets for Authors and Publishers," you've got experts and their invaluable knowledge at your disposal.  Editors Irene Watson, Tyler R. Tichelaar, and Victor R. Volkman do have the answers!