Cover image for Writer tells all : insider secrets to getting your book published
Writer tells all : insider secrets to getting your book published
Masello, Robert, 1952-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : H. Holt, 2001.
Physical Description:
x, 244 pages ; 21 cm
General Note:
"Owl book."

Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN161 .M38 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



A witty and candid firsthand account - for writers by a writer - on how to write, sell, publish, and promote a book.This invaluable book is written by a working writer - not a professor, not a publisher, not an editor, not an agent. Robert Masello is a writer who speaks his mind with absolute candor on everything aspiring book authors need to know. He explains the publishing process step by step -what to expect, how it works, and what authors can do at each point to keep things going smoothly. Equally important, Masello has a lot of fun doing it. His book is filled with sometimes hilarious anecdotes fromhis own experiences in the trenches of publishing.Writer Tells All covers many topics along the way, both large and small, including the things every writer needs to know: choosing a book topic (fiction or nonfiction), writing the proposal, selecting an agent, understanding book contracts, finding an editor, losing an editor, following the production process from manuscript to bound book, using your own savvy and contacts to maximize the effect of marketing, and publicizing the finished product.

Author Notes

Robert Masello is the author of three novels & ten nonfiction books, including "A Friend in the Business". He has taught writing classes at the Columbia University School of Journalism & UCLA Extension. He is currently executive story editor for the Aaron Spelling television series "Charmed".

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

There are scads of how-to-get-published guides, but few of them are as entertaining as this one. Masello is a working writer, the author of 13 previous books (both fiction and nonfiction) as well as numerous television scripts and magazine and newspaper articles. Whereas most writer's guides devote considerable space to artsy concerns--how to build a character, how to foreshadow plot twists, how to polish dialogue--Masello draws on his own experiences in the publishing game to discuss slightly more practical matters. Here budding writers will learn what to do once they've got their big idea: how to sell it to an agent, what to expect when a publisher makes you an offer, how to work with an editor, how to read a contract, what sort of money you might expect to make. The author's straightforward style and entertaining anecdotes make the book not only useful but entertaining to read--reminiscent, in fact, of William Goldman's classic Adventures in the Screen Trade. David Pitt

Publisher's Weekly Review

In Writer Tells All: Insider Secrets to Getting Your Book Published, Robert Masello, who has already written 13 other books, including A Friend in the Business, delivers exactly what his title promises, and he does it in a spirit of camaraderie and good fun. Although Masello's enthusiasm can make his prose long-winded, he covers everything from the idea of writing a book, to getting an agent and working with an editor, to promotion and sales. Writers who dream of being published will find the insights from Masello's many anecdotes well worth the effort. ( Apr. 10) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Do we really need another book telling novice writers the tricks of the trade? Apparently, Masello (Raising Hell, Berkeley Publishing Group, 1996) thinks so. Not so much a how-to summary of the finer points of composition and rhetoric, this is instead a guide to the competitive world of book publishing that takes the amateur writer on a journey from burgeoning idea through book tours, television interviews, and future book proposals. Along the way, we learn the difference between a book editor and a copy editor, how to negotiate a deal, the importance of cover art, the problems with genre snobbery, and how to combat the effects of celebrity. While all of this might be unfamiliar territory to most beginning writers and therefore of some interest, Masello's anecdotal style and name-dropping approach is more entertaining than informative and glosses over the necessary elements of talent, discipline, and technical skill. A lightweight contribution to an over crowded field; buy only as needed. Denise Sticha, Murrysville Community Lib., PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Part I Art
Mission Statementp. 3
Confronting the Monsterp. 7
Clearing the Hurdlesp. 12
The Quota Systemp. 15
Your Worst Bossp. 19
Fact or Fictionp. 22
The Hydraulic Theoryp. 27
"Why Don't You Write One of Those Sidney Sheldon Books?"p. 32
Outlining Nonfictionp. 36
Proposing Nonfictionp. 44
Proposing Fictionp. 51
Genre Snobberyp. 56
Title Searchp. 60
Muzzling the Three-Headed Dogp. 67
My Grandmother's Cadillacp. 75
Part II Commerce and Craft
Bagging an Agentp. 81
The Perfect Agentp. 91
Submission and Acceptancep. 103
Art of the Dealp. 113
The Sea of Legalesep. 122
The Editor Idealizedp. 134
The Editor in Practicep. 144
Revisionist Miseryp. 149
Blue Pencil, White Knucklesp. 152
The Cover Storyp. 157
Galley Slavesp. 163
Part III Celebrity
Of Catalogs and Conferencesp. 169
The Song of Yourselfp. 173
The New Arrivalp. 181
Publication Dayp. 184
"You Want Me to Buy a Copy?"p. 190
The Critical Consensusp. 192
If This Is Tuesdayp. 199
Talking Headp. 207
Still Talkingp. 215
Hollywood Callingp. 220
Other Paths to Gloryp. 226
"And Now for My Next Trick ..."p. 232
Indexp. 237