Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Disilgold Way

Countdown 101: From Writer to Self Publisher
by Heather Covington
1st Books Library
Paperback, $22.95
404 pages
ISBN: 978-1-4140-2218-2

Book Review by Kam Williams

“After starting a business proposal that took over 10 years, as long as it took to finally self publish my first book, I knew that I needed to be brave, and tear it to pieces to start all over. There were too many unnecessary steps that I had read in books on becoming a self publisher and a publisher of other authors’ books.
Now my mission is clearer and I have been able to self publish over 10 books in less than 3 years despite conventional methods, and I feel that I have finally freed my soul! It is a feeling I long to share with new writers who want to self publish their books and, most of all, enjoy the process.”
-- Excerpted from the Preface (page v)

Although I’ve attained a certain stature as a syndicated journalist, I must confess to being unable to interest a publisher in either of the two books I’ve completed. Despite dutifully following the suggestions delineated in Writer’s Market, widely accepted as the bible of struggling authors, all I have to show for my efforts to date is a big pile of rejection letters from publishers and agents.
Now, after reading The Disilgold Way, I can quite confidently say that my fate would have been far better had I simply internalized its relatively-practical ideas instead. For this handy how-to guide demystifies self publishing, convincingly presenting this path as an accessible and attractive alternative for those frustrated by failure with big-name commercial houses.
This user-friendly text is the brainchild of Heather Covington, a very successful self publisher in her own right. Out of her own home in New York City, this grade school teacher-turned-author/CEO has built her own publishing and publicity empire, plus a mammoth online network.
From her down-to-earth yet confident tone, it is easy to discern that Heather knows what she’s talking about. Why re-invent the wheel through via trial-and-error, if you can learn what you need to know from an altruistic literary diva’s account of her firsthand experience. She spares you her headaches by describing all the pitfalls of striking out on your own as a writer.
This 400+ page opus is packed with plenty of pep talks and priceless practical advice about everything from how to buy an ISBN # to how to copyright your manuscript to how to market it. Regardless of what area the author’s covering, the approach is influenced by her “5 Principles of Success,” namely, Integrity, Quality, Professionalism, Service and Dedication to One’s Mission Statement.
Because Ms. Covington is a writer at heart, much of what she has to say is likely to resonate with those wishing to follow in her footsteps. For instance, she indicates that one of the benefits of controlling your own career is that you won’t be pressured by a publisher to travel around the country to promote a book.
“Do the math!” she urges. “Once you’ve booked that out of town flight, paid for lodging, food and in town traveling expenses, chances are you’ve just zapped your potential profits.” Furthermore, “Writers want to write, not have to travel all around the world to acquire sales.”
A self-help treatise that might make the perfect stocking stuffer for the aspiring author in your life.

To order a copy of The Disilgold Way, or to check out the poetry, novels and the other non-fiction titles by the prolific Heather Covington, visit:

No comments: