Skip to main content
  1. Arts & Entertainment
  2. Books

Writer's Book Review: "78 Reasons Why Your Book May Never Be Published..."

Possibly the best book on
publishing an author can pick

At initial glance, Pat Walsh's "78 Reasons why your book may never be published & 14 Reasons why it just might" may seem a bit off-putting. After all, when visiting the writing and publishing section of most bookstores, the searching author is inundated with positivity and promises: "Write a Novel in One Month!", "How to Get an Agent Today!", "Sell your Screenplay Now!"... Not to mention hordes of gimmicky 'toolkits', card sets, and philosophical fluff.

"78 Reasons" (we'll shorten the title a bit) is not any of those. In humorous and pointed terms, Walsh, a veteran of the publishing industry, lays out the many mistakes and misconceptions that repeatedly pulse through the writers' world, pointing out with each why they could keep you from getting your work published. Right from the get go, he clarifies that this book will do little good to help an author who does not have a completed work (though I would argue it certainly gives anyone making excuses about finishing their project a good wake up call and dose of realistic expectations). While he does give extensive advice concerning revisions, this is not a book to help you write a novel. It's purely about getting that novel into the commercial world.

With the precision of a Samurai and the wit of an honest cynic, Walsh attacks egos (#5, "You Think you are a Natural"), agendas (#11, "You Preach), softies (#16, "You do not Kill your Little Darlings"), and the gilded sludge pit that is self-publishing (an entire chapter is dedicated to understanding the many pitfalls and specific virtues of this "other" publishing industry, an entity great for local-specific content but a bane to authors seeking professional exposure). He tackles it all with a charm and forthrightness that makes every difficult revelation palatable.

While it initially sounds depressing, "78 Reasons" really boils down to one solid trait every author needs: learning how to keep high hopes and realistic expectations. By learning why your manuscript ended up in the "Slush Pile" or understanding what an agent really does to act as an author's advocate, the reader comes away with a more solid knowledge of the publishing industry (at least what writers need to know about it) than they would get from any of the guarantee-touting tomes declaring surefire ways to land your baby in the bestseller stand.

If you only read one book about writing and publishing, this is the one. Here in Denver, both Barnes and Noble and Borders tend to no longer keep this paperback in stock. You can either order it from either of their websites, from, or go through a local store like The Tattered Cover. After you read it, put in a request for local stores to keep this one in stock. For Kindle users, it is also available in E-Book form.



Arts & Entertainment

  • Tori Spelling
    Tori Spelling candidly talks about her husband's cheating and her future
    Today's Buzz
  • Jazz Fest
    Music and cultural festivals sweep the nation this month, see where the fun is
    Festivals Buzz
  • Monsters Inc
    Pixar challenges eagle-eyed viewers to hunt for Easter eggs in their films
    Join the Fun
  • KFC Double Down
    KFC is bringing back it's infamous Double Down chicken sandwich
    Pop Culture
  • Angelina Jolie
    Knives, jets and typewriters: What your favorite stars obsess over
    Celebrity Buzz
  • Paul Walker
    Paul Walker's brothers will be standing in for him during filming of 'Fast 7'
    Today's Buzz

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!