Thursday, January 5, 2023

Book Review: From Promising to Published by Melanie Faith



You’ve been writing and honing your craft for months or years and are curious about seeking publication for your latest project. Perhaps you wonder about the next steps in the process. Look no further! This book has a little something for every writer interested in expanding their audience and sharing their writing with readers, from pre-writing and writing your drafts to choosing your market and the writing life before, during, and after publication.

Topics covered include:

       The Lovely Littles: Breaking into Literary Magazines

       The Spinning Spider: Keeping Track of your Brainchildren

       Options, You’ve Got ’em: Traditional, Indie/Small, University Press, or Self-Publishing

       Two Streams with One Stone: To Simultaneously Submit or Not

       Monetize it! Part One: All about the Benjamins; Monetize it! Part Two: Risk and a Swimming Metaphor

       The Myth of the Fancy-Pants Tools

       The Art of Writing the Author Bio

       Paradox Meets Passion: Writer vs. Author

       The Slam-Bam Reply: Now in Two Painful Varieties; Creative Noodling

       F.U.N. and so much more!

Purchase a copy of From Promising to Published on, Barnes and Noble, and You can also add this to your GoodReads reading list.


My review: From Promising to Published by Melanie Faith is a good starter guide for the author who has yet to dip a toe in the publishing pool filled with crocodiles, piranhas, and all manner of nasty creatures with big sharp teeth. For the novice author, still wide-eyed and dazed by the whole creative process, coming down to earth and addressing the practicalities of getting one’s act together and impressing the people who can make one’s book happen may fill one with trepidation. What is an author bio and what should you put in it? How much personal detail should you include or leave out? What is a target audience and how do you find them? How do you go about getting published, writing the fateful cover letter that might make someone important sit up or bin it? Melanie starts at the beginning of her own journey, using samples and examples of her own experiences to outline for the beginner author which paving stones in the path to avoid.

Melanie’s goal is to demystify the mystifying process of publishing and she succeeds in this by giving a step by step, logical sequence of milestones and how to accomplish each goal. The chapters are coherently arranged for easy navigation. The author also advises that not every tip will apply to every reader, and they should feel free to pick up on the ones that most suit their situation. One piece of advice I liked was this: say you are a writer/author right from the start, not an imposter, and cling to that knowledge. From the author bio to the query letter to the author website (what NOT to include), target audience, publishing options, and beyond, Melanie encourages her readers to have fun on the writing journey. At the end of each section are easy exercises that get readers into the swing of things, showing and not just telling you what and how to do something.

Melanie’s style is chatty, friendly, and down to earth, much like a friend having a coffee with you and giving you some valuable tips on how to proceed. She also tackles the highs and the lows of the writing/publishing process, such as dealing with rejection. She outlines and enhances the positives, always mindful that there are negatives and many would-be authors fall at the first hurdle. Dip into this book and make up your mind that you will sail over the first hurdle and every single one that comes after.



About the Author: Melanie Faith is a night-owl writer and editor who moves through the daytime world with her camera. She’s an introvert who likes to wear many hats, too, including as a poet, photographer, professor, and tutor. She’s been a doodler for years but just recently started to share her perfectly imperfect doodles. She loves to write about historical settings in poetry and prose, and this fall she taught both a Leaping Worlds class for historical fiction and time-travel writers as well as a university class about publishing. She especially enjoys creating nonfiction craft books that assist fellow authors on their writing paths, including books packed with tips about writing flash fiction and poetry. Her latest published craft books are: Photography for Writers, guides for teaching online and writing a research book respectively, and From Promising to Published: A Multi-Genre, Insider's Guide to the Publication Process (all from Vine Leaves Press). Read more about her books, classes, and arts projects at


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