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A Literary & Poetry Column
By Carolyn Howard-Johnson

10 Publishing Myths
Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed
By W. Terry Whalin

A Read-First Introduction Every Author Needs
A Slim Book for Newbies Who Don’t Want to Get Snared by Publishing Scams

Reviewed by Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Foreword by Jerry B. Jenkins,
The New York Times Bestselling Author
Morgan James Publishing, 2020
ISBN: 9781642794526

Disclaimer: I met the author Terry W. Whalin when we were both presenters at a writers’ conference—probably a decade ago—and I received a review copy of this book from the publisher at no charge. Such disclaimers may discourage a reader from taking my review at face value, but the truth is I have known Whalin’s work—both his books and his other industry presence—so long that I am in the enviable position of knowing of his expertise and experience—yes, honestly and fairly.

First, a little story. I have often wished that many of my clients had come to me before they had jumped headlong into publishing That is true of many who are self-published and just as many who are traditionally published. The reason, of course, is that a solid book or a solid hour of consultation could have saved them hundreds—and sometimes thousands—of dollars.

Another story: I use a little list of publishing industry myths as a four-page handout at many of the writers’ conferences I speak at. It is by necessity brief, and I have often wished I could recommend a book on this topic to read before they read my multi award-winning The Frugal Book Promoter (now in its third edition published by Modern History Press) which gives them what they need to act as their own publicist or work more effectively with a publicist assigned them by their publisher. First things, first, after all! And I often thought of writing this book. It is good I didn’t. No one could do this better than Whalin. He indeed has the expertise and the experience (all those authors he has encountered struggling with the fibs and misunderstandings many feel compelled to repeat on the web and elsewhere!).

A mere 140 pages, this book is The Book for an author with dreams of a bestseller dancing in their heads. I often tell my clients (and readers!) that one book on any aspect of publishing is never enough to cover an industry so large and varied that it includes editing, formatting, indexing, cover design, interior book design, marketing, and even new writing techniques for every genre an author should tackle. That’s why each of my books in the HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers includes a suggested reading list in the appendix of each edition. Terry Whalin’s "10 Publishing Myths" will be included in that list in the very next edition I publish or the next book I write. That’s a promise.

Tips and Tidbits

(Each month in this box, Carolyn lists a Tidbit that will help authors write or promote better. She will also include a Tip to help readers find a treasure among long-neglected books or a sapphire among the newly-published.)

Gift for Writers:

To learn more about how authors can battle the fear of writing, the fear of speaking, and even the fear of success, read the first few chapters of my The Frugal Book Promoter and then keep reading to help take the stress out of book marketing (and nurture an affinity for it!)

For Everyone:

You may not read newspapers like you once did. You may never have acquired the habit or—if you did—you found the news on web in places like Politico easier and maybe less expensive. If you are one of those, I hope you will pick up a paper soon. There you will find real depth that few news programs or web stories do. You will also be supporting investigative reporters like the ones at the Washington Post who reminded us of their role assigned them by our Constitution. Media—ethical media--helps maintain our freedoms. Free press for all its flaws is important to the preservation of democracies. It needs our understanding, our insistence on ethics, and our support if we and other free nations are to continue to prosper. We can all be a part of that.

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