Title: 10 Secrets to a Bestseller: An Author’s Guide to Self-Publishing
Author: Tim McConnehey
Publisher: Izzard Ink Publishing, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Year Published: 2017
Number of Pages: 168 pages
Reviewed by Elizabeth White for the Association for Mormon Letters
I wrote a children’s story about a day at Grandma’s house. I have wanted to publish it as an e-book for the last few years. At this writing, it is still unpublished. The difference between “writer of stories” and “published author” is found in the pages of Tim McConnehey’s latest book, “10 Secrets to a Bestseller: An Author’s Guide to Self-Publishing.” In our internet era of self-publishing, thousands more authors are realizing their dreams of publishing books every year. Along with increased opportunities comes increased competition for readers and market share. How can a novice or even an experienced author take his or her great concept for a book and polish it so it can be distributed and enjoyed by others, become an award winner or even an anticipated best seller? What distinguishes a bestseller from all the other books bobbing along in the ocean of printed and electronic media?
Enter Tim McConnehey. He is the founder of Izzard Ink Publishing, a pay-per-service consulting company that guides writers so they can realize their dreams of being published authors. A person may be able to drive, and may actually drive very well, but that is not the same as knowing how to build a car. Tim McConnehey has the methods and professional resources to help build the vehicle that will take the drivers where they want to go. At Izzard Ink Publishing, an author can use as many or as few of the resources and services that they desire. They are no longer waiting on an editor from a major publishing house to read their manuscript and want to take it on as a project. Authors can choose what steps they want to do themselves and what steps they want help completing.
One of the beginning steps in self-publishing is accepting the idea that even with a finished draft, there is still much work left to do and being willing to undertake and invest in getting those steps done right. Each of the ten steps has its own chapter which discusses topics like editing and revising, more revising, yet more revising, the what, where, and by whom of illustrations, the cover design, market research and distribution, reality checks in the retail world, public relations, and wraps up with a chapter on publishing do’s and don’ts. It is updated with information about how to self-promote on social media platforms. The format of the book is clear, simple, and easy to follow. Each chapter is stand-alone, so if I want to review certain steps, it is simple to do so.
I was left with the impression that McConnehey was a bit like a building contractor for authors. He knows how to get books through the publication process, but the authors need to be willing to go through the steps. My Cinderella-like starry-eyed vision of publishing my children’s story one day is now gone. It is clear that there is no Prince Publishing company that will rescue my story languishing in obscurity and whisk it painlessly into the Bestseller Palace to live forever. Rather, I got the idea from the book that McConnehey is saying, “If you want to live in a palace, let’s draw up the blueprint and start picking out bricks. We can build your palace the way you want it.” He wants to keep authors in a place to direct their own decisions while providing all the help they may need to get the job done.
After reading “10 Secrets to a Bestseller,” I may not publish that story at all, either as an e-book or hardcopy. I might need to look at my first story and expand it or adapt it for the market in some way. I have a much clearer idea now of what publishing my own book would entail and how I want to approach it.
By the time I finished reading 10 Steps, I had a greater appreciation for the amount of work entailed in bringing a book to the public. Writing the text seems to be the easiest part. McConnehey’s tone is confident and clear throughout, detailed and informative without sounding like a micro-manager. This book would benefit those who would like to publish an original manuscript or are already established as authors, but are considering directing their own future projects. McConnehey’s company, Izzard Ink Publishing, provides a wide range of valuable services for both new and veteran authors.
McConnehey, “10 Secrets to a Bestseller: An Author’s Guide to Self-Publishing” (reviewed by Elizabeth White)