How I Learned to Love the Cliche & Got Reviewed

May 2001
by Scott Stein, author of the novel Losr

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Writers are taught to avoid clichés. This is sensible advice. But publishers, and writers-turned-publishers, would do well to embrace a few trite expressions. Like It’s not what you know, but who; and There’s no place like home.


The first of these is not quite right. What you know is important too. After all, it is what you know that allowed you to write a good book, to choose to publish a good book, and to produce a book of sufficient craftsmanship and quality that will make booksellers want to sell it and consumers want to, well, consume.

My novel Lost is a good book (how could I think otherwise–I wrote it and published it–typeset it too, if you must know). But being a good book and being known as a good book are two very different things. Once I recovered from the joy of seeing the book in print, of starting Free Reign Press, Inc., etc., I was faced with the daunting challenge we all face: How do I let readers and bookstores know about the book–how do I get them to buy and sell Lost?

The great thing about selling books, unlike selling, say, underwear or peanut butter, is that free advertising is available for books in the form of reviews and other news stories. “I don’t need a marketing budget,” the naïve publisher thought. “When the media gets wind of the genius I’ve packed between two covers, they’ll be fighting each other to be first to tell…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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