Jacq Burns is an author and literary agent with over 25 years' experience in bookselling and publishing.
Her 2014 book, Write a Bestseller is full of tips, advice and insider information that she's gathered throughout her career. The book takes the reader through the whole process, from the early stages of coming up with ideas and plotting, through to writing, publishing and marketing.
I really enjoyed this section. The information on each topic was concise and the chapters were broken up by quotes, key points and exercises, which worked well. Burns provides plenty of good advice on the writing process, particularly for those who might be struggling to get started or finding it difficult to make progress.
Here are a couple of her tips that I found particularly useful:
The latter part of the book is focused on the post-writing stage, and includes information on all the things to do once you've finished writing your book, such as pitching, publishing and marketing/publicity.
In this part of the book, there were two topics that really stood out to me:
This section also seemed particularly relevant, with many modern-day authors actively promoting their work through a variety of methods, such as an official website, social media, email lists, promotions etc. As Burns states, "An authorpreneur is an author who thinks with the mindset of an entrepreneur" (p. 242).
Some of the points the author raises are:
"Authorpreneurs regard their author brand as a micro-business and they apply business techniques to building their brand, quite separately from their writing" (p. 242)
"The most successful authors are those who write good books, are passionate about writing but who also acknowledge that it is a business" (p. 245)
"If you want to make a decent income from your books, you must become an authorpreneur, applying a businesslike approach to your writing and publishing" (p. 239)
Burns offers advice on how to get started, and a list of items all writers need in their 'Authorpreneur kit', such as a website with an up-to-date blog, a Twitter account, an email list and a regular email newsletter, and a Facebook page.
Overall, this is a very informative book, with a lot of good, solid information for anyone wanting to make a career out of writing.
While the author is based in the UK and there are some references to UK resources, this is the type of book that writers worldwide could still get a lot out of.
I recommend it for writers who are planning on making a career out of their writing, either by taking the traditional path of seeking a literary agent, or by going down the path of self-publishing (or for those who may decide to do both).