If you’ve ever wanted to write your own best selling craft book, this is the guide for you. Mark Montano is the #1 selling craft book author of all time and in How To Write and Publish a Best Selling Craft Book, he teaches you his process from book concept to publication. Included are instructions on how to write a book proposal specifically for a craft book and two of his personal book proposals that were picked up for publication by Simon and Schuster. Mark lets you in on all of the secrets that make his books best sellers including how to create a style that is uniquely yours, how to get a book agent or find a publisher and how to promote your book once it’s been published.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I liked how Mark Montano combined personal publishing experience, industry standards, and put a different spin on common sense tips that are specific to writing and publishing a craft book. It’s well-organized and I was able to read it in one sitting without rushing through or getting bored. I highly recommend it!
It has a conversational writing style, which I quite enjoyed because of the energy he maintains. His passions are obvious and I like that he’s willing to share them in a step-wise fashion.
There was a bit of self-promotion which was excellent to include, but I did wish it was a edited more thoroughly, especially having written a book about writing and publishing. I was semi-distracted by the use of mixed quote integration, overuse of commas, overuse of caps for emphasis, em dashes, and do I dare mention inconsistency of the Oxford comma. I’m honestly a fan of it, but there is a need to choose one or the other and stick with it.
“Create your projects so that other people can create them, too.”
“Those steps need to be included, too!”
“The book editor can always whittle down the photos that are most important when the book is being edited.” I felt this was akin to something like the scissors can always cut the paper when they are cutting.
I enjoyed reading about the sample proposals but I wasn’t as keen on the inclusion of his own critique of competing titles in his sample proposal without more of the details I thought it needed. In my opinion, including them in this book creates a bit of a conflict of interest especially since I didn’t feel it was judged with as much scrutiny as the others. This was sort of unavoidable but it maybe it was because I didn’t like the messages they conveyed or maybe that’s just the overlying tone I interpreted them as. They were a bit ranty, negative edged, and criticized other books in the field without expressing how his ideas set him apart in a positive way. I felt this was a lost opportunity to sell his own incredible body of work which was odd because he clearly does this in all other sections of his proposal and is really good at it and has so much to offer that wasn’t highlighted like in other parts of the book.
I would really like to see a part 2 that goes into more detail about creating aesthetic appeal related to craft photography and page layout.
MY FAVORITE LINES:
“Many people have creative fear. They are afraid to jump off of the creative cliff and take the plunge and they will find many excuses not to do it. Letting them know that ‘any kind of white school glue will do’ will help them along the way.” -Mark Montano