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Reviews: Books about Writing
Book Reviews:
   Conventional Book Reviews   (standard commentary/review of book) 
  Knothole Book Reviews   (a "knothole review" is "not whole"-- 
       the concept is to give insights into an author's style, craft, and knowledge through selected excerpts.) 
2007 Writer’s Market 
Robert Lee Brewer, Ed.,  Joanne Masterson, Asst. Ed.
Cincinnati: Writer's Digest Books, 2007

     This is an annual publication by Writer's Digest books and an extremely important book for any writer. No matter how much you know, you can always learn more, and this book reinforces that. It starts with a key to symbols and abbreviations used throughout the book followed by a well organized table of contents. It is truly a writer's guide to better writing and publication. In addition to listings of agents, book publishers, magazines, contests, and awards, there's a list of resources important to writers. A hallmark of any reference book is the index and this one is thorough. The first part of the book contains articles designed to help writers. A review of four of them follows.

*  *  *

“Before Your First Sale“- by The Editors 

Four elements you need for success are good writing, knowledge of writing markets, professionalism, and persistence. Develop your writing. Then study the markets and target the right ones. Develop a good query letter. It represents you to agents and editors. It's your first impression to them. Limit it to one succinct and well organized page, including pertinent information about the manuscript and yourself. Querying for fiction and 
nonfiction differs with the nonfiction requiring a book proposal. 

“Minding the Details” - by The Editors 

This article is a 'must-read.' In the discussion of contracts and agreements, it describes rights of the writer. Do you know the difference between first serial rights and one-time rights? This can effect your income. The first gives the publisher only the right to publish for the first time, but the writer retains all other rights. One-time rights allows the writer to sell the work to others at the same time. The article also describes second serial rights, all rights, electronic rights, subsidiary rights, and dramatic, TV, and motion picture rights.

“The Six Rules of Publishing Success” - by I.J. Secter 

There are six rules which every writer must follow to get 
published. They are (1) write what you want to write, (2) research like crazy, (3) submit tactically, (4) get--and stay--organized, (5) keep writing (and reading), and (6) nurture relationships. 

“Editor FAQs” - by Robert Lee Brewer 

Some of these questions simply illustrate that writers in general need to do more homework regarding the business. Actually, if you really followed the six rules and the four elements of success mentioned above, all writers would know the answers. 

What's the trick of getting published? 
      There's no trick. Learn the craft. 

How does co-authoring work? 
      Agree ahead of time about goals, individual assignments, compensation, and deadlines. 

What about ghostwriting? 
      Using another person's ideas or experiences, write a work for them under their name or "as told to." 

Should I hire an editor or book doctor? 
      It's difficult to judge the effectiveness until after the fact. It's better to join a critique group and/or attend appropriate conferences. 

When do I need an agent? 
      Generally, not until the work is finished or only if you are submitting work to publishers who only accept agented material. A good agent can be invaluable in negotiating your contract. 

Is self-publishing a better option for writers? 
      Only as a last resort if you want your book sold in most bookstores. 

How do I handle a pseudonym? 
      Let the editor know in advance, but use your real name in correspondence with the editor. Also, specify how payment should be made. 

Should I copyright my work before submitting? 
      It's automatically copyrighted. 

How do I know a publisher won't steal my work? 
      Submit to only reputable publishers.

—excerpted by William T. Delamar

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