indie authors

Basic Beginner’s Guide but Others May Be Better

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Publish Children’s Books by Caterina Christakos

3 star

3 Stars

The title of Caterina Christakos’ short guide sold me on it, but a short read later left me wondering if I should have picked a different book. It’s very short – perhaps ten pages. While packed with information, it does not offer many new tips or suggestions for authors who have already published one or more books. The guide offers some money-saving advice that could prove valuable but is generally available elsewhere. It does not go far enough in giving the reader value for their money by offering more options. In the audio books section, for example, it did not make reference to, Amazon’s audio bookseller, or producing an audiobook using Amazon’s ACX. Perhaps this was an oversight or the guide needs to be updated.

Although advertised as a resource for publishing children’s books, the guide is applicable to writers of many genres. This is a plus in that you don’t have to be a children’s writer to get something out of it. On the other hand, a children’s writer may not find Ms. Christakos’ guide useful enough to make it worth buying.

There are other, better reference materials on publishing children’s books, including free options such as newsletters and publishing guides for writers that provide more in-depth information. If you are a beginning author who needs some general information to get started, this might be the book for you if it’s reasonably priced. If not, take a pass and check out other resources.

Publishing Children’s Books is now available at:






Well Written and Idea Packed…but Not for Some

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Nail Your Novel:  Why Writers Abandon Books and How You Can Draft, Fix and Finish with Confidence

by Roz Morris

3 star

3 stars

I decided to read Ms. Morris’ book to help revive a stack of old books and stories I never finished writing. The pile is rather large, and I hoped that the book would give me the tools I needed to finish and publish them. Sadly, it didn’t work for me. I believe that the target audience for her book is writers who have one or two manuscripts in rough form that need a nudge to get them done. It’s not for those whose writings are so fly-by-the-seat-of-one’s-pants or deeply muddled that they need a serious spring cleaning — not fine tuning. There’s a group of would-be writers who may need to read more basic books on writing techniques in order to learn how to write synopses and plot scenes. Her book does not delve deeply into these writing techniques.

To her credit, the author gives readers a potpourri of good suggestions on how to break writer’s block and improve a novel. She offers some excellent recommendations with easy-to-remember buzzwords like “outtakes,” “block busters,” and “beat sheets.” For writers stuck in the middle of their novel who need inspiration, these are great tools to push it from draft to publication. The ending wraps up with a toolbox full of ideas on how to do this and ends with a chapter on preparing the manuscript to send to a publisher.

I recommend this book for experienced writers with a basic knowledge of writing who want additional writing tips. For those further along in their careers, it could be an indispensable resource. But this book isn’t for every aspiring writer. For those literally dusting off that decades-old manuscript in a drawer needing extensive rework before it sees light of day, they may be better off starting with a basic “how-to” manual.

Nail Your Novel is now available at: