Followers of this blog will know that I don’t do book reviews — it’s something that I just don’t do. However, I’ve noticed that the list of recommended books is growing. Hence, I should probably at least explain why those books are on the list. Some are obvious, like the dictionaries and style guides. Some are…not so obvious.
So, let’s start with one of the first books I had put on that list. I’m talking about Scott Pack’s How to Perfect Your Submission.
Well, where does one begin?
Like all other books out there on submissions, Scott Pack delves into the ideas of what makes a good query later, how to write a synopsis and the like, but that boring hum-drum is after what Scott would consider to be the most important information in his book. (And I can say this because I attended a workshop of his back in 2016 where he said as much.)
It’s the beginning sections of his book that makes it worth reading, and why it’s on my recommended books list. Scott Pack is brutally honest about the industry and the thick skin that you’ll need to survive in it. Writing the query, synopsis and other submission materials are all part of the mechanics of preparing to query, but are you actually ready to query?
He talks about the research that you need to do in selecting the people to query to. There is mention to some of the resources where you can get information. However, the most important aspect of this book is when he delves into the emotional upheaval that you WILL go through during the query process.
During his workshop in 2016, he was harsh on the query letters and synopses that were presented, and you could see some people starting to crumble under the pressure that he was putting people under. It’s this pressure that he talks about in his book.
The publishing industry is one of the toughest industries on a person’s soul. This book gives you a small taste of what you can expect if you decide to go down the traditional publication road.
The book is only available in electronic form and retails for under $5. With that price, you really don’t have an excuse to not include this book in your list of resources. So you have to forego that coffee from Starbucks for one week. Understanding the truth of how the industry works is well worth it.
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