Top positive review
Five reasons why every aspiring writer (+ blogger, podcaster, and content creator) should read this
Reviewed in the United States on November 15, 2018
As someone who blogs, podcasts and is in the process of exploring a book (including being actively enrolled in writers' programs and coaching groups), I can say that hands-down this is the best resource for an aspiring author, and for that matter, for anyone who is looking to market and sell their message through all forms of content. And here are the reasons why:
1. Publishing a book is more about marketing than the literary art of writing: Kelly demystifies the commonly-held view that all you have to do is sit down and channel your amazing story on paper, send it to a few publishers and upon beholding it, they'll see the genius of it and make you a best-selling author. Not true for nonfiction writers of the type that would love to be published by Hay House. And not true for all writers, argues Kelly, because the world of publishing has changed dramatically since the days when JK Rowling sent her manuscript to dozens of publishing houses in the 1990's. The industry has consolidated, and most importantly Amazon has dominated the market and Kelly lays out exactly how that affects you as an aspiring author and what editors are looking for from you as a writer.
2. Kelly is a true coach: She doesn't just give the guiding principles, she delivers the goods. For example, when she talks about hooks, she tells you exactly where to find them for existing books, how to do your research on books and hooks in your category and even provides super helpful matrices with breakdowns of famous self-help books and how their titles fit into the concepts that she's teaching.
3. There are specific strategies which will position your book for success even before you write a single page - in fact, Kelly recommends putting the right structure in place, which is based on the right motivating factors. She lists the motivations that she has seen last for long enough to feed the writer's bumpy journey of actually writing the book. And then she lists the motivating factors that will fizzle out quickly and leave your book in the massive graveyard of unfinished books. She backs up all her concepts with practical advice and exercises, so you figure out where you stand on each subject.
4. She tells you exactly how to focus your message, so it stands out in an increasingly noisy marketplace. As a former product manager obsessed with user research, I found her concepts spot on and relevant not just for aspiring writers, but also for anyone who wants to be successful online with their messaging. It's all about being clear and specific and knowing your audience. I love her recommendations on developing your ideal reader (in product management we used to call this a "user persona") and also finding and surveying the ideal readership base (aka "user research"). Authors who truly speak to and care about the reader will write books that deliver value vs. being the type of self-absorbed "me, me, me" stories that make for tedious reading.
5. I can't believe she spills the beans on what editors are thinking, how they operate and what they're looking for in books. It's like showing a job candidate exactly how the interview team structures the interview questions - which ones are a trap, which ones are the most important and most shockingly, HOW to answer the questions.
The book is not just a practical advice on marketing and selling your book idea. Kelly clearly has accumulated a lot of the knowledge through reading more self-help books than almost anyone as a self-help book editor for Hay House, Sounds True and other publishers. She uses that to show you exactly how to tune into your passion and use tools like mindfulness, focus and visualization to prime your mind for creating the book with not just commitment, but with a lot of heart and passion. And for that, I thank her from the bottom of my writer's heart :)