Reviews of Writing Books

The Internet Writing Journal, January 2000
Page Two of Two

You Can Make It Big Writing Books by Jeff Herman

Prima Publishing, September 1999.
Trade Paperback, 325 pages.
ISBN: 0761513620
Ordering information:
Amazon.com. | Amazon.co.uk


You Can Make It Big Writing Books
by Jeff Herman Writers need to know a great deal about the publishing business before they have any chance of becoming published, let alone produce a major bestseller. As the book's author, New York literary agent Jeff Herman explains, "Some people are born into writing success by being so gifted that no matter what they do, the path will find them. Although they still have to produce, they are not so bothered by the trivialities of breaking down the publishers' doors. The publishers find them. The other 99 percent of writers have to have more going for them than just talent." Herman explains the complex world of publishing in laymen's terms, covering what writers need to know about agents, publishers, book promotion, manuscript submission and queries. The book includes anecdotes and advice from 58 authors who have become bestsellers. Herman organizes the advice and stories from the successful writers into categories, including the marathoners, the heavyweights, the producers, the promoters and the niche authors. For example, marathoners are authors such as Jennifer Blake, Loren D. Estleman and Margaret Chittenden, whose books and talent having staying power; heavyweights are household names like Nelson Demille and John Gray. Producers publish so many books they astonish everyone, promoters know a secret to making their books sell and niche authors have made a name for themselves in one particular arena. A final section includes advice from Herman himself about how to create a salable product, how to determine your market, how to find an agent and advice on promoting your book.

Jeff Herman is a highly respected literary agent, who represents numerous well-known authors including John Gray and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul). He is also the author of the Writer's Guide to Book Editors, Publishers, and Literary Agents, a comprehensive reference which provides a detailed description for each editor, publisher and agent listed in the book. Herman has combined his expert advice with advice and tips from writers who have made it big, to create a top-notch reference for writers hoping to write a bestseller. Whether you are a novice or a writer with a completed manuscript who is struggling to get it published, you must have this book. Highly Recommended.


Facts in a Flash: A Research Guide for Writers by Ellen Metter

Writer's Digest Books, September 1999.
Hardcover, 423 pages.
ISBN: 0898799090
Ordering information:
Amazon.com. | Amazon.co.uk


Facts in a Flash: A Research Guide for Writers
by Ellen Metter Facts in a Flash acts a research assistant for writers. The book begins with an overview of research techniques and strategies, including library research and Internet searching. The rest of the book lists research resources such as books, libraries, databases, periodicals, websites and organizations for numerous topics. The major research topics covered in this resource include government and politics, current information, statistics, experts, quotations, biographical information, history, culture, geography, law, business and companies. For each reference listed, the book provides a detailed description and suggestions on how to best use the resource. The reference also includes advice on consulting experts, using search engines, verifying accuracy and using hard-to-find resources. An appendix includes valuable listings of commercial databases and periodical indexes.

Facts in a Flash is a very thorough and informative reference tool compiled by Ellen Metter, a research librarian and bibliographer. Writers looking for a quick reference aide will find Facts in a Flash a valuable companion.


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