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I just finished How to Publish Your Book by Jane Friedman, part of The Great Courses, and I felt it deserved its own blog post.

It also deserves a spot on the must-read list for anyone who would like to get their writing published, even (perhaps especially) if they intend to self-publish. The course is written by Jane Friedman, possibly one of the most qualified people in the country to do such a thing, and it outlines in great detail how to find a literary agent, how to write a great query letter, and a lengthy list of what NOT to do at each step of the way towards, during, and beyond publication. Friedman is kind but doesn’t sugar-coat, and she doesn’t waste the reader’s time. Her realistic, professional approach to the market was refreshing, and I will be recommending this book to many of my editing clients.

While the book mainly focuses on the traditional publishing market, this is invaluable information for someone self-publishing too. To compete effectively, or at all, with traditional publishing, self-publishers need to understand the market–and it is a complex, rapidly changing one. The publishing landscape has changed so radically in the last twenty or even ten years that many of the strategies that worked before simply aren’t viable. Don’t expect to make it big doing what someone else did to make it big in 2009; times have changed, and writers have to change along with them.

You can get the book on The Great Courses website, naturally, but I was able to listen to the audiobook for free using the Overdrive library app, which I highly recommend. Don’t miss out on these insights!