A how-to book that belongs on many shelves.

A brief but comprehensive survey both of the crisis-beset book-publishing industry and of strategies for authors and publishers to get books on the market.

A rule, or so we wish, of how-to books on writing should be this: If the author has not written a prior book other than that how-to book, then it’s not to be taken seriously. So it is with publishing. The market is crowded with how-to-get-your-book-published books written by people with no discernible credentials, which is emphatically not the case with marketing guru Kampmann (late of Viking, St Martin’s, Simon & Schuster, etc.) and writer/editor/publishing insider Atwell. Their approach assumes no prior experience, for there is a fine line between professionalism and cluelessness, and it judiciously divides the landscape of publishing into the traditional and the new—and largely unexplored. They counsel that a new author might wish the shelter of a major New York trade house, with the proviso that “the biggest downside of being published by traditional publishers is that a title can easily get lost in the pack, creating the probability of very disappointing results.” True enough, as every midlist author knows. On the self-publishing front, the authors wisely advise that no book should go out the door without having been professionally edited, and they add plenty of other useful bits to the mix. A highlight, for instance, is the marketing timetable, which will be of tremendous help even to authors working with the majors and wanting to be sure things are happening when they should. The “success stories” that close the book are of a lily-gilding variety, however, and one wishes that the space had been given over to more of Kampmann and Atwell themselves.

A how-to book that belongs on many shelves.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8253-0687-7

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Beaufort

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2013



This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996




An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

Close Quickview