Publishing Confidential: The Insider's Guide to What It Really Takes to Land a Nonfiction Book Deal

Paul B. Brown, Author, Britton Payne, Illustrator, Ellen Kadin, Commentaries by AMACOM/American Management Association $14.95 (180p) ISBN 978-0-8144-7226-2

This refreshingly straightforward volume by the author of more than 20 nonfiction books is just what it claims to be: a guide--admittedly, from just one insider's point of view--to getting a book published. Brown (Customers for Life; Lessons From the Top) begins with an apt quote from Samuel Johnson (""No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money""), then proceeds to tell readers what he thinks it takes to become a published and paid nonfiction author. He explains how to write a clear, engaging proposal and, more importantly, how to get it in front of an editor. He also addresses the""do you need an agent?"" question, gives advice on facing rejection and dealing with success, and much more. Parenthetical commentary from Brown's editor is meant to be funny (e.g.,""it's impressive how deftly you weave the shameless self-promotion into the meat of the text""), but it's often distracting. However, it's easy to spot and skip--so readers can pay attention to the no-nonsense opinions of an author who knows the publishing business well.