Monday, 3 March 2014

On self-publishing in rapid fires

Full title: Write & Sell Your Damn Book
Author: Paul Jarvis
Publisher: Paul Jarvis (2014)
Genre: Non fiction, motivational
Attributes: 55 pages (930Kb), e-book

On the scale of zero to oneZERO PLUS (i.e. bought from Amazon.com, $0.89)


To get going, one needs to get rid of certain fears and anxieties traditionally associated with publishing. This is, it appears to me, the central message of this text, half-motivational speech, half do-it-yourself philosophy.
Forget about book length, writing tools, endorsements, contracts. Forget about audience, promotion, platforms, printing, pricing, finding the right cover or the right font type. Forget about all this at least initially. At least while you proceed with the creation of the book you are going to sell. Jarvis’s advice is to make a list of all the obstacles you might foresee (and there will be many, as we know), and then simply do away with every point on that list. Because what matters is to have something to worry about rather than worrying about something you don’t have.

Traditional publishing may very well be the cause of a lot of procrastination
when it comes to writing the damn book. Penguin steps and all.
Source: The Telegraph

What Jarvis brings to the fore is a type of energy that can only reside in words. Reading the book you get to realize that every single problem has a language that can speak it. And that, to anyone who thinks about starting a venture (writerly or otherwise), is the nudge in the ribcage that gets the mechanism rolling. Everything that keeps the writer from writing is a damned handicap; and that includes overactive brains that think only in terms of worries and fears. To put it in Paul Jarvis’s words,
“If you start thinking about making your writing great or selling lots of copies, tell your brain to screw off. Any time spent not thinking about what you’re currently writing is time you’ve just wasted.”
Yes, swear if you want, along with the author. By spitting these words out you make room for others to come and inhabit your vocabulary. In doing so, you also find the way words leave – so that you can use that avenue later, when they become too much to bear and you need, indeed, to spit them out.
It comes in circles, doesn’t it?
To sum up, Jarvis’s text is short, punctilious, aphoristic, with a lot of bullet points to shoot the page for easy memorization. This is a booklet you finish in under an hour (thinking included), but which leaves you energized and, possibly, pumped up for the next writing spree. If you want to learn economy of words, this is one of the places you might want to try. The book has been designed as a series of short lessons, each lesson under five pages in length, organized for maximum gain and minimum waste of time.
“Save the flowery language for your next poetry slam, you hippie,”
the authors yells. And that means making efficiency your religion, since
“most people have almost no attention span”
and spending too much time trying to persuade them means wasting hours of your creative life.

And now I’m feeling very worried about all the extra words I’ve put in this review.