Thursday, January 3, 2019

Book Review: Pen to Pub by J. Alchem

Name of the Book: Pen To Pub
Author: J. Alchem
Publisher: Self Published 
No. of pages: 27 pages
Amazon buying link:
Star Rating: 4 stars. 

With all the Writer's toolkits that are coming out, it was but natural that I will pick up a book based on writing and promoting during the Pentopublish program of Amazon. J Alchem was a winner of the title during the Pentopublish 2017. I was curious to see what the author had to say regarding his winning -  (looking out for juicy details you know :D) which was not an easy thing to pull off amongst the hundreds and thousands that had made an appearance during that time. So when a new author, landed with the title of winner, it made many eyebrows being raised. 

Undelivered Letter, which had won the title in that competition was a story of a postman who had not delivered a few letters during his tenure and he regrets it 20 years later. Interesting premise. 

Coming to Pen to Pub, the author, as his style is, has covered all the details in a gist. One thing I have realized in my now seven years of marketing books. However much an author shouts and tells the world how to promote a book, the aspiring authors still come in with 'I will be suddenly discovered' syndrome. So whether you all take in all the advice or not is up to you. 

The first thing I wished the author had inserted was an index. It helps in navigation when you want to have another look in a particular topic. Alchem covers the topic of how to write and how to gather storylines from newspapers and friends. I agree with him. Those are the most powerful tools an author can use to get story ideas. I had so many stories to pen when I saw for the first time the movie called The Jessica Lal case and the Arushi case. But here is one thing every aspiring author must remember. ACT. 

Act on those storylines. Pen it down. Or you have lost that moment. Personal experience :D

Topics like Beta reading, editing and proofreading have been covered. Again your call what all you can do or not do. Most of the young writers have financial restrains. So what do you do during that time? You go to friends who have that kind of knowledge. But whatever you do, don't bring out a book without an editor. Those who say they don't need an editor - they are fooling themselves. 

There is one point though that I don't agree with in this book(let). The way to make a Book Cover. Indie publishing is a world where we are in charge of every aspect of the production of the book. I see too many shoddy covers that bring down a book. Stories are wonderful but during a blog tour, readers refuse to pick it up due to unprofessional covers. I have seen it happen too many times and too many times authors have held it against me for not promoting shoddy covers.  I leave it to the book bloggers if they want to put it up on their blog or not. 

Other than the above point, I agree with all the points of Alchem. Aspiring authors will have good pointers when they pick up the book. Again, I can only say that we authors can be hoarse by shouting how to promote, it's up to you, dear aspiring authors, if you want to take it or not. 

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At January 3, 2019 at 6:27 PM , Blogger Ruchira Khanna said...

ACT indeed!
I agree timing is everything. Thanks for the read and review of this interesting author :)

At January 3, 2019 at 6:36 PM , Blogger The Book Club said...

Thanks Ruchira. :)

At May 18, 2019 at 10:59 AM , Blogger Lewis said...

Before you stretch excessively a long ways beyond and choose to take (or give up) the rules totally, you should know the nuts and bolts about book publishing alternatives, which are affected by the kind of book it is.writing

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