Eagle, Idaho: Aloha Publishing, 2013
ISBN 9781612060231, paperback
71 pages, $12.95
At 71 pages, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Maryanna Young’s 25 Absolutely Essential Things You Need to Know About Writing and Publishing a Book. Surely, the 25 things someone would need to know about how to publish a book would require more pages, especially when about half of those pages are blank. But, like all good creators and teachers, there is a method to Maryanna’s madness.
In addition to giving snippets of concise knowledge about the industry, Maryanna has set up the book to be a teaching aid, having the would-be writer work out details of the publishing aspects by writing about them. Brilliant! Each single chapter includes a space for the writer to work on what’s been explained or what’s been asked. She spends time having the writer looking at their motivation for writing a book, why it’s important for the writer to write this book in the first place, and what the legacy of actually publishing a book can have on their lives and society as a whole. We all strive for some kind of immortality in our lives, usually through jobs, our children and our children’s children. But we can also achieve a kind of immortality through permanent creativity and Maryanna’s book is the first step in that direction.
Young’s book includes all kinds of knowledge that would-be writers and aching- to-be-published authors need to know, and these tips come in the form of concise bullet points. These points include the idea that books don’t have to perfect to be published (#3); that even the best books have collaborators such as proofreaders, cover designers, editors, and interior book designers (#7); and that outlining saves time and effort (# 12). The author talks about the other elements of a book that shouldn’t be overlooked: the table of contents (number 13), the title and subtitle (#14) and the importance of an eye-catching cover design (#15). She tells writers they must to learn to write without editing (#8) and that they must write consistently, not just when the muse hits (#10). Personally, I’m guilty of both crimes against content. And, as a cataloguer, I value the importance of ISBNs, but who knew they had to be purchased in order for books to be published (#16)? Not me!
Throughout the book, Maryanna comes across as equal parts editor, teacher, cheerleader and co-conspirator on the journey of becoming published. A budding author couldn’t ask for better help. I‘d recommend this book to any library that wants to inspire its local writers into becoming authors. Public libraries, high school libraries and university libraries could all benefit their patrons by having a copy of this book available.
Gregg Whitmore is the Library Technician (aka the library manager/director) at the Boise VA Medical Center and a cataloguer at the Kuna Public Library. After all, why work at one library when you can work at two? Of course, he is also an unpublished writer.