Write That Book Already!: The Tough Love You Need To Get Published Now

BOOK: Write That Book Already!: The Tough Love You Need To Get Published Now
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Praise for
Write That Book Already!


“I learned more from this wise, witty primer of publishing than from fifteen years in the business. With everything you need to know—and some things you don’t want to—in one place, this is the only pen-to-shelf guide you’ll ever need.”


Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of
The Deep End of the Ocean

“If I can’t have the enablers to kick me in the pants every writing day, at least I’ve got this book!”


—Andrew Sean Greer, author of
The Story of a Marriage

“If you read one book this year, I’d say you’re not an avid reader. But if you
one book this year, this is the book you should read so you can get it published.”


—Alan Zweibel, Thurber Prize–winning author of
The Other Shulman

Write That Book Already!
is the most informative, interesting, useful, and fun book about the business, art, and craft of book writing since . . . well, since ever! Terrific writing, business, and human advice by some terrific, experienced, funny, smart writers. Kathi Goldmark and Sam Barry, as the Author Enablers, have been the Go-To People for aspiring writers for years, and in this book they elucidate pretty much every aspect of the craft. This book is a must-have for every aspiring writer on the planet.”


—John Lescroart, author of
Treasure Hunt

“Among the many charms of this guide to becoming a writer, it consistently helps you understand the perspective of the agents, editors, and gatekeepers who you probably fear are in your way, but are in fact there to help you if you’re willing to listen. Anyone at work on their first book, or wanting to start their first book, should soak up some of this tough love from Kathi and Sam.”


—Po Bronson, author of
What Should I Do with My Life?

This stellar new book on writing
Is most helpful, clear, and inviting.
The big kicker, though—
I feel you must know—
Is its humor, which just keeps delighting.


David Corbett, author of
Do They Know I’m Running?

“It’s the book you need in your back pocket and under your pillow so you never feel alone on that long, mysterious road from blank page to bestseller list.”


—Jewelle Gomez, author of
The Gilda Stories

“Too chicken to start writing that bestseller in your head? Read this book, but only if you can handle success.”


—Bharati Mukherjee, author of
Desirable Daughters

“A playful but practical guide that contains just about everything I’ve told my own writing students over the last thirty years.”


—Molly Giles, author of
Creek Walk and Other Stories
Iron Shoes

“With humor, compassion, wisdom, and street smarts, this wonderful book takes aspiring writers by the hand and guides them through the publication process, from first inspiration to bookstore shelf, with a matzo ball soup break (recipe included!) on the way. If you want to write and get published, you need this book.”


—Elizabeth Dewberry, author of
His Lovely Wife

“Kathi Goldmark and Sam Barry are the literary older siblings every new writer needs—encouraging, sensible, and funny as hell. They’ll cheer you up even as they tell it straight, in a book filled with good advice, helpful hints, and great anecdotes from marquee names in the world of publishing. Read their book, already! It will Enable you—and entertain you—on the way to writing your own.”


—Sylvia Brownrigg, author of
Morality Tale
Pages for You

Foreword by Maya Angelou


The Tough Love You Need to Get


Includes Original Insight from

Stephen King, Amy Tan, Dave Barry,
Scott Turow, Andrew Sean Greer, Meg
Waite Clayton…

and a whole bunch more


Sam Barry and Kathi Kamen Goldmark,
Author Enablers

For Tony, Marissa, Daniel, and Laura,
terrific writers all


Copyright © 2010 by Sam Barry and Kathi Kamen Goldmark
All rights reserved.
This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher; exceptions are made for brief excerpts used in published reviews.


Published by
Adams Media, a division of F+W Media, Inc.
57 Littlefield Street, Avon, MA 02322. U.S.A.


ISBN 10: 1-60550-147-6
ISBN 13: 978-1-60550-147-5


eISBN 10: 1-4405-0710-4
eISBN 13: 978-1-4405-0710-6


Printed in the United States of America.


10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1


Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
is available from the publisher.


This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information with regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought.


—From a
Declaration of Principles
jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations


Many of the designations used by manufacturers and sellers to distinguish their product are claimed as trademarks. Where those designations appear in this book and Adams Media was aware of a trademark claim, the designations have been printed with initial capital letters.


This book is available at quantity discounts for bulk purchases.
For information, please call 1-800-289-0963.




of this very book we advise authors to avoid overkill on their acknowledgment pages. “Try to avoid thanking . . . your second-grade teacher, the guy who sold you all those lattes, your cat,” we primly counsel. Well, that’s easier said than done.

First, a big shout-out to the Author Enabler Enablers: agent Deb Warren and the team at Adams Media, including Brendan O’Neill, Meredith O’Hayre, Ashley Vierra, Casey Ebert, Karen Cooper, Beth Gissinger, and Chelsea King. Thanks to Lynn Green and all our pals at BookPage for permission to use Author Enabler column excerpts, and to the intelligent and talented readers of our column and blog for asking questions that inspire us to learn. Thank you to Laina Adler, Eric Brandt, and Gideon Weil for their sage advice; to Betty Kamen for editorial help on the home front; and to Rabih Alameddine, Leslie Levine, Susanne Pari, and Amy Tan for brainstorming titles when we know they had other important work to do. We thank all the authors who contributed words of wisdom and experience, with special appreciation to Maya Angelou for both her foreword and her friendship.

Love and thanks to our amazing kids and their equally amazing sweethearts: Tony and Marissa Goldmark, Laura Barry, Daniel Barry, and Dilek Uygül. We also thank all the folks at HarperOne, West Coast Live, and the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library for working with us; and the Rock Bottom Remainders for playing with us. Then there’s the guy who sold us all those lattes, not to mention his cat . . .




Ask the Author Enablers


Chapter One:
Why We Write (and Why You Write, Too)


Chapter Two:
You Have a Great Idea. So What?


Chapter Three:
How to Get Started with the Write Stuff


Chapter Four:
Your Manuscript: The Basic Rules of Attraction


Chapter Five:
Finding an Agent


Chapter Six:
Behind Closed Doors: Will They Buy Your Book?


Chapter Seven:
You and Your Editor


Chapter Eight:
Marketing and Publicity: Getting the Word Out


Chapter Nine:
The Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing


Chapter Ten:
For Sale: Bookstores, Bookselling, and Book Groups


Chapter Eleven:
Long Life: Paperback and Backlist


What’s Next?


Appendix I:
Beloved Books of Famous Authors


Appendix II :
The Life Cycle of a Book


Appendix III :
Glossary of Publishing Terminology




Nathaniel Hawthorne is credited with having said that easy reading is damned hard writing. I believe that, and also believe that easy writing may be damned hard reading. Kathi Kamen Goldmark and Sam Barry, both writers and wits, have given us a book called
Write That Book Already!
, which informs us about the ins and outs of writing for publication.

Obviously they agreed with Nathaniel Hawthorne, for while they are offering their book, and it is easy reading, in no way does it lead us to believe that writing for publication will be easy or easily achievable. Their writing is light and amusing. However, they remind the reader that if writing well is the goal, then time and patience and focus must be used in abundance.

BOOK: Write That Book Already!: The Tough Love You Need To Get Published Now
5Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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