Starting off writing a book is easy and finishing is both a relief and a triumph, but there’s a long stretch in the middle where you can’t see either shore and you’re not even sure you’re heading the right way.

Begin by brainstorming title ideas. Come up with at least five and preferably twenty or more potential titles that encapsulate your subject. Begin with the rising action, the part of the story where events build. Then describe the climax, where the story reaches its most dramatic or interesting point.

Include subjects such as why you should write a book review, choosing your book and avoiding common pitfalls. Includes four exercises to practice shortening techniques, then compare your more concise version. Reviewers of nonfiction texts will provide the basic idea of the book’s argument without too much detailed. Reviewing can be a daunting task.

Be prepared to have a “home team” of family and friends to give you critical feedback on your assignments before posting so you don’t reduce your colleagues’ brilliant analyses to spell and grammar checking.

Comment on the evidence that supports the research. Comments are closed, but you can leave a trackback. Comment on parts of particular interest, and point out anything that seems to give the book literary merit. Relate the book to larger issues.

Finally, never append a bibliography of works consulted to a review. Finally, keep in mind that this brief piece was about how to write a book that sells, not about how to sell a book you’ve written. The main job of a self publisher is selling the books, writing them is just a necessary business preparation, though hopefully one you enjoy.


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