Monday, July 15, 2013

Book Review - Breadcrumbs for Beginners


Breadcrumbs for Beginners: Following the Writing Trail

By: Dr. Sherry L. Meinberg
Publisher: Balboa Press
ISBN 978-1-4525-7166-9
Publication Date: April 2013
Reviewed by Holly Weiss
Review Date: July 14, 2013

Replete with details spanning all aspects of writing, publishing and marketing a book, Breadcrumbs for Beginners is an invaluable tool for beginning authors of any age. The book is peppered with quotes from well-known authors, sidebar tips, and writing prompts. The reader will benefit from the encouragement offered and will smile at amusing anecdotes from Dr. Meinberg’s experiences. The author’s enthusiasm for writing leaps off the pages as in this quote from Nathaniel Hawthorne. “If God told me I only had six minutes left to live, I wouldn’t brood. I would type more quickly.”

Are you itching to write a book, but feel daunted by the process? As a published author, I can sympathize with you, but must say I learned many things from this book I never knew before on my publishing journey. Writing topics within the book include choosing your genre, creating characters, dialogue, research, structure, setting the scene, grammar, and punctuation. The breadcrumbs trail in this book, however, extends much farther than honing the art of writing. Understanding the publishing process, such as how to approach publishers, writing effective query letters, self-publishing and eBooks are covered. An entire section is devoted to promoting your book via free publicity vs. paid publicists, marketing, book signings and interviews. A special treat is a helpful and often overlooked discussion on how writers can maintain a healthy holistic approach to their life and craft.

Dr. Meinberg’s credentials (she is the recipient of seventy awards about print media) alone might prompt authors to seek her advice. That being said, the practical advice within the pages of this informative book is the real draw for beginning authors. Read, read, and read some more is the author’s advice as opposed to taking writing seminars. The author states, “My breadcrumbs are meant for those who have the dream of a book inside them, and are now ready to make the decision to actually write it.”

Do you have a story screaming to be told? Breadcrumbs for Beginners will help you every step along the way. A well-structured Table of Contents introduces the book. A helpful Bibliography, Index and Credits are in the back. The print is rather large, a bonus for the visually challenged reader. The sidebars often interrupt the flow of the author’s advice, but a careful reader will find them useful. The book doesn’t claim to be a magic writing pill, but following its breadcrumb trail will make any author’s journey easier.

Quill says: Take the headaches out of writing, publishing, and promoting your book by using Dr. Meinberg’s wise umbrella approach.