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Review of Stephen Markley’s Publish This Book: The Unbelievable Story of How I Wrote, Sold and Published This Very Book

Sourcebooks, 2010

By M.M. Wittle

The myth: getting a book published is easy. All one has to do is write a book. Then the book signal (think Batman) flashes in the sky and the eyes of the book publishing executives turn towards the heavens. Agents and publishing house executives respond with near hysteria, grabbing their iPhones, wanting to be the first to make the author the first offer.

The reality: the above scenario would never happen. In Stephen Markleyís premature memoir, Publish This Book, Markley shows how difficult it is not only to publish a book, but to publish a book that is in the process of being written.

Using his sense of humor and honesty, Markley comes across as an experienced older brother leading the way. He shares steps he's taken to publish this book, along with the conversations and the mistakes made.

I knew nothing about book proposals until last spring at Rosemont College, when I enrolled in a course called Getting Published. Book proposals weren't a few paragraphs but massive documents filled with research about your book and where it fits into the marketplace. Markley, in creating his own query letter and book proposal, found in chapter eleven, takes a hybrid approach, peppered with his own rookie mistakes.

Publish This Book is great for any writer seeking publishing insights. For a mere $14.99, one can read about what itís like to be a young writer struggling to be published. Markley uses his wit to separate myth from reality. Itís up to you, whether you use his advice or not.

M.M. Wittle is a Master of Fine Arts candidate at Rosemont College in Rosemont, Pennsylvania. Her work has appeared in Philadelphia Stories