Write. Publish. Repeat. by Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt

A Book Review

4/15/2016

Writing a novel? Learning indie publishing? This is the self-publishing guide you've been waiting for.

Write. Publish. Repeat is publishing for beginners and experienced writers alike.

In 2013, Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt published 1.5 million words and made their full-time livings as indie authors. In Write. Publish. Repeat., they tell you exactly how they did it: how they created over 15 independent franchises across six publishing imprints and 100+ published works, how they turned their art into a logical, sustainable business, and how any author interested in indie publishing can do the same to build a sustainable, profitable career with their writing.

Write. Publish. Repeat. explains the current self-publishing landscape and covers the truths and myths about what it means to be an indie author now and in the foreseeable future -- beyond just "how to write a novel" or NaNoWriMo and delving into the brass-tacks realities of indie publishing. It explains how to create books your readers will love and will want to return to again and again. Write. Publish. Repeat. details expert methods for enhancing creativity, building story worlds, characters, and plots, understanding your market (right down to your ideal reader), using the best tools possible to capture your draft, and explains proven best practices for editing. The book also discusses covers, titles, formatting, pricing, and publishing to multiple platforms, plus a bit on getting your books into print (and why that might not be a good idea!). But most importantly, Write. Publish. Repeat. details the psychology-driven marketing plan that Sean and Johnny built to shape their stories into "products" that readers couldn't help but be drawn into -- thus almost automatically generating sales -- and explores ways that smart, business-minded writers can do the same to future-proof their careers.

This book is not a formula with an easy path to follow. It is a guidebook that will help you build a successful indie publishing career, no matter what type of writer you are ... so long as you're the type who's willing to do the work.
-from Amazon

 

Write. Publish. Repeat. was published at the beginning of 2014. At the speed the self-publishing world moves, you'd think that would mean the advice in this book is outdated—except it's not. Sure, some pieces are no longer true (if a reader borrows a book through Kindle Unlimited, for example, KDP Select now pays for each page that a reader reads rather than whether a reader gets through the first 10 percent of the book), but neither are these facts critical to the advice Johnny and Sean share.

The SPP (Self-Publishing Podcast, for those not in the know) guys wrote Write. Publish. Repeat. with the aim that the overall strategies they suggest will stand the test of time. That while the tactics (like using KDP Select to run free promotions) might change, the strategies won’t (getting your book in the hands of as many readers as possible). And it's absolutely true.

It might be worth mentioning here that discovering the Self-Publishing Podcast changed the way I view my own self-publishing endeavors and taught me how to be business-minded in a way that many authors aren't. Write. Publish. Repeat. is the podcast condensed into a book, minus the authors' tangents and swearing.

This isn't a book for everyone—and Johnny and Sean aren't afraid to detail exactly who their book isn't for—but for fiction writers serious about turning their business into a sustainable career, Write. Publish. Repeat. is a book you need on your shelf, digital or otherwise. The strategies and general publishing philosophies in this book will get you in the right mindset to be successful.

Once the book sets up who it's for and who you, the reader, is, it gets into the self-publishing landscape. Which is just a fancy phrase for getting into the positives and negatives of self-publishing, and why sometimes, the positives can carry their own negatives. In self-publishing, you get control over everything, but that also means you're responsible for everything—there's no traditional publisher propping you up.

You may have gotten rid of the traditional gatekeepers, for example, but you will always have the biggest and most important gatekeepers to please: the readers.

Write. Publish. Repeat. covers what it means to produce a professional book, and what you have to do to market your book successfully. It wraps up with advice on how to move forward once you've finished reading. And Dave, the third SPP member, makes an appearance at the end to interview successful self-published authors, such as Hugh Howey and Joanna Penn, about their writing and publishing lives.

Verdict: Buy.

If you're looking to push your writing career to the next level, Write. Publish. Repeat. is a book you don't want to miss. While there's no advice about writing craft here, craft is only half of publishing, and this book can help you approach your writing from a business perspective—which may just be that missing piece you need to be successful.

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Amanda Shofner

Amanda Shofner satisfies her desire for adventure with the written word and helps others do the same. Currently writing romantic suspense.

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