I have self-published 3 books now. I consider myself to be quite an old hand at this these days. But this was not always the case. I was once, like so many others, a ‘newbie’.

When I first began my journey, I was quite surprised by the learning curve involved in this new venture. I researched and studied for months on end. I bought every book and manual and e-book I could get my hands on. I joined chat rooms and discussion groups. I took online courses.

I was struck by the fact that, though there are hundreds of thousands of books written each year, only a very miniscule percentage of them sell more that a few hundred copies. That in and of itself should be enough to make one want to quit on the spot. But not me. I was determined.

And so I learned and researched and learned some more. Eventually, through persistence and a good deal of sheer luck, I now find myself on the other end of things. I now consult with new, self-published authors, helping to guide these wide-eyed neophytes through the thorny jungle of developing, publishing and successfully marketing their own newly-born, fledgling offspring.

Valid, timely and reliable information is extremely hard to come by in this field. Self-publishing is a maze of confusing terminology, baffling concepts and mystifying procedures. Now, at long last, one learned and experienced author has written a book that decidedly (and thankfully) clears up a great deal of this confusion.

‘A Book Is Born’, by Nancy C. Cleary, is a wonderful book that clearly and succinctly details the ‘secret and science of getting your book published’.

I was at once struck by the brevity and the clarity of the massive amount of information detailed in this book. It comes in at just a little over 200 pages, but the information offered here could well fill three books of its size. It is extremely concise and manages to cut through all the clutter brilliantly.

One of the downfalls to attempting to navigate this minefield of information is the plethora of useless information that seems to abound. Not so here. All the glitter and fluff has been discarded. What remains is valid information that any new writer can use beginning immediately.

Let’s face it. Those of us who write books do so for a singular reason; we wish to have others read our work. It is an unfortunate fact that most writers are, well, writers. Most know very little about getting that ‘baby’ in the hands of the ‘right’ people – people who can get the thing out there before the hungry eyes of the reading public. This book offers us a step-by-step process for accomplishing exactly that. But this book is much more.

Writers are also (as a rule) solitary beings. We sometimes hunger for others of our kind – those who might understand some of the ups and downs we experience as newly published authors. No one can understand what we feel, save others who have done it.

This book is unique in that it shares the stories of 24 real life writers. It covers in great details their own failures and successes. It allows us a glimpse into the lives of those who have been successful and lays out their own joys, sorrows, triumphs and disappointments. It not only details the practical advice we all need, but also shares with us the emotions those of our kind experience. It is at once realistic, practical and inspiring.

 Nancy has come to show us the way but, in addition, she has brought along a consortium of 24 others who offer their own sage advice – advice offered by those who have been there and done that. The end result is that, rather than being offered a singular point of view, we are offered advice from a large group of successful authors who once stood squarely where we now stand.

As the title implies, the book compares book publishing to birthing a newborn. I am a man, but I can tell you this – I have had 3 babies. Giving birth to a book IS very much akin to having a child. The comparison here is delightful and extremely well presented.

This book is a definitive guide to publishing success. Were I allowed to recommend just one book to the new novelist, poet or scribe, this would be the book I would highly recommend.

Don McCauley ICM, MTC, CH is a writer, an editor, an advertising consultant and is the author of ‘Learn To Live A Life Without Problems’. Further information can be obtained at http://www.heavenonearthsystem.com

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