A refreshingly transparent guide to writing that plays on would-be authors’ desire to sell books.



In their follow-up to The Book in a Box Method (2015), Max (How to Naturally Increase Testosterone, 2014, etc.) and Obront break down the intimidating prospect of writing a nonfiction book into a series of manageable minitasks.

Max promises in the introduction, “I will teach you everything you need to know to make sure you write a great book—one that impacts readers lives and cements your legacy.” It might sound grandiose, but Max is confident that his experience writing and marketing bestselling books (for himself and for others) has taught him the secrets to publishing success. The process begins not with writing the first sentence but with outlining the book’s trajectory: setting the proper expectations for yourself, silencing your doubts, and positioning your book (i.e., figuring out “the place your book occupies in the mind of your reader and how that reader perceives your book as fulfilling their needs”). While there are some traditional writing tips here, what separates this from other writing guides is that the authors focus on boosting sales. In one case study, simply revising the book description (the finer points of which they provide) doubled a book’s sales within an hour. While some of these strategies may appear to be shortcuts or Band-Aids, many (like making sure your prose is simple and direct enough for a 12-year-old to read) aren’t easy so much as they are smart and simple. Max, the controversial writer of “fratire” memoirs, serves as the primary author, and the prose is inflected with his distinctive, conversational, and often blunt voice: “Let’s be clear: A good title won’t make your book do well, but a bad title will almost certainly prevent it from doing so.” His approach may be frank, and the tone is assuredly self-congratulatory, but even skeptical readers will find mantras to take back with them to their writing. While this is certainly not the only book an aspiring author should read, Max and Obront provide a vast amount of practical information that few other guides offer due to its explicitly commercial or promotional nature. Nonfiction authors, particularly those going the self-publishing route, will learn much from this business-minded manual.

A refreshingly transparent guide to writing that plays on would-be authors’ desire to sell books.

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5445-1406-2

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Lioncrest Publishing

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2019

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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