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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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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