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The Fiction Formula: The New Rules of Self Publishing Success

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All you need to know to be a full-time storyteller is in these pages. Johnny Truant and Sean M. Platt -- owners of the Sterling & Stone Story Studio and authors of the how-to-publish cornerstone Write. Publish. Repeat -- have spent the last eight years learning the ins and outs of professional storytelling. Between just the two of them, they've written 100 books. The stud All you need to know to be a full-time storyteller is in these pages. Johnny Truant and Sean M. Platt -- owners of the Sterling & Stone Story Studio and authors of the how-to-publish cornerstone Write. Publish. Repeat -- have spent the last eight years learning the ins and outs of professional storytelling. Between just the two of them, they've written 100 books. The studio as a whole, in 2020 alone, will publish nearly 200 more. To write and publish that much quality, reader-pleasing fiction, you can't just wing it. You need a formula to keep things streamlined and on-target. With a formula, you can be sure you're writing books that will sell. That you're enjoying writing them, and are doing so without writer's block. When you use the fiction formula, your success becomes predictable -- not a matter of luck. In their 2014 bestseller Write. Publish. Repeat, Platt & Truant showed a generation of indies the path to self-publishing success. In this long-awaited follow-up, they'll show you what they've learned since, plus all the fiction-specific stuff they didn't include the first time around: You'll learn: How to choose a genre that's commercial AND fulfilling The Sterling & Stone planning process that helps you write better books, faster. The complete start to finish path from idea to fully launched books and series Creating an author business that can withstand marketplace changes and last for years to come. The Fiction Formula will help you build a thriving indie publishing career no matter what type of writer you are ... so long as you're willing to do the work. If that's you, welcome aboard! The Formula could be your next step toward the author life you've only dreamed of before.


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All you need to know to be a full-time storyteller is in these pages. Johnny Truant and Sean M. Platt -- owners of the Sterling & Stone Story Studio and authors of the how-to-publish cornerstone Write. Publish. Repeat -- have spent the last eight years learning the ins and outs of professional storytelling. Between just the two of them, they've written 100 books. The stud All you need to know to be a full-time storyteller is in these pages. Johnny Truant and Sean M. Platt -- owners of the Sterling & Stone Story Studio and authors of the how-to-publish cornerstone Write. Publish. Repeat -- have spent the last eight years learning the ins and outs of professional storytelling. Between just the two of them, they've written 100 books. The studio as a whole, in 2020 alone, will publish nearly 200 more. To write and publish that much quality, reader-pleasing fiction, you can't just wing it. You need a formula to keep things streamlined and on-target. With a formula, you can be sure you're writing books that will sell. That you're enjoying writing them, and are doing so without writer's block. When you use the fiction formula, your success becomes predictable -- not a matter of luck. In their 2014 bestseller Write. Publish. Repeat, Platt & Truant showed a generation of indies the path to self-publishing success. In this long-awaited follow-up, they'll show you what they've learned since, plus all the fiction-specific stuff they didn't include the first time around: You'll learn: How to choose a genre that's commercial AND fulfilling The Sterling & Stone planning process that helps you write better books, faster. The complete start to finish path from idea to fully launched books and series Creating an author business that can withstand marketplace changes and last for years to come. The Fiction Formula will help you build a thriving indie publishing career no matter what type of writer you are ... so long as you're willing to do the work. If that's you, welcome aboard! The Formula could be your next step toward the author life you've only dreamed of before.

30 review for The Fiction Formula: The New Rules of Self Publishing Success

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bon Tom

    I did read some books on self publishing, but what a load of information this one is. And true to the title, I really didn't stumble upon these rules and concepts in any of the other books. I did read some books on self publishing, but what a load of information this one is. And true to the title, I really didn't stumble upon these rules and concepts in any of the other books.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Sherriff

    Good enough... my proper review is here: https://patricksherriff.com/2020/02/0... Good enough... my proper review is here: https://patricksherriff.com/2020/02/0...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cora Foerstner

    Disappointing There are a few nuggets, but most of the book is rambling, often vague and repetitive discussions of how the authors work. The discussion on 4 acts rather than 3 acts was particularly tedious and awkward. Dividing act 2 into two distinct parts is a common point made in many books on writing and done with more finesse and detail. I skimmed page after page. The discussions on finding your genre, their pre-writing process, and some of their advice for new writers on launches and adver Disappointing There are a few nuggets, but most of the book is rambling, often vague and repetitive discussions of how the authors work. The discussion on 4 acts rather than 3 acts was particularly tedious and awkward. Dividing act 2 into two distinct parts is a common point made in many books on writing and done with more finesse and detail. I skimmed page after page. The discussions on finding your genre, their pre-writing process, and some of their advice for new writers on launches and advertising are interesting and useful. However, they provide little more detail than what they discuss on their podcast. I considered giving the book two stars, but I think fans who enjoy their rambling style will like the book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Miguel Ángel Alonso Pulido

    Una actualización muy necesaria del clásico Write.Publish.Repeat, que incluye consejos y recomendaciones para escritores que autopubliquen sus títulos para la nueva década. Me ha gustado que además de encargarse del proceso que rodea a la escritura, hablen del proceso de creación de sus obras y cómo lo afrontan, con algunos aspectos que pienso poner en práctica. Sobre todo, lo mejor es que esa fórmula a la que aluden en el título, la del trabajo duro y el esfuerzo, es la única que funciona. Muy Una actualización muy necesaria del clásico Write.Publish.Repeat, que incluye consejos y recomendaciones para escritores que autopubliquen sus títulos para la nueva década. Me ha gustado que además de encargarse del proceso que rodea a la escritura, hablen del proceso de creación de sus obras y cómo lo afrontan, con algunos aspectos que pienso poner en práctica. Sobre todo, lo mejor es que esa fórmula a la que aluden en el título, la del trabajo duro y el esfuerzo, es la única que funciona. Muy recomendable.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Antoine Bandele

    You can get most of this for free on their podcast but if you want something that’s more easy to digest this ain’t bad.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Juneta Key

    I own and read Write, Publish, Repeat by these authors when they released along with the follow up to it Iterate and Optimize. This book is even better in that there is so much more to it with great tips that cover everything you need to know to go Indie of today. There is a lot to learning in an always changing industry but this book will definitely help you navigate it. A great addition to your own writer's bookshelf. I received a free ARC copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review. I own and read Write, Publish, Repeat by these authors when they released along with the follow up to it Iterate and Optimize. This book is even better in that there is so much more to it with great tips that cover everything you need to know to go Indie of today. There is a lot to learning in an always changing industry but this book will definitely help you navigate it. A great addition to your own writer's bookshelf. I received a free ARC copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jane Night

    Synopsis: This is a nonfiction book about writing fiction. It is a companion to Write, Publish, Repeat. Please note I received an ARC copy of this book however my review is honest, true, and in no way influenced by receipt of the ARC. My Rating: 5/5 I absolutely loved Write, Publish, Repeat. It is one of those books I tell every indie author I meet that they need to pick up. I feel very similarly about the Fiction Formula however I do feel that those who are just dipping their toe into writing will Synopsis: This is a nonfiction book about writing fiction. It is a companion to Write, Publish, Repeat. Please note I received an ARC copy of this book however my review is honest, true, and in no way influenced by receipt of the ARC. My Rating: 5/5 I absolutely loved Write, Publish, Repeat. It is one of those books I tell every indie author I meet that they need to pick up. I feel very similarly about the Fiction Formula however I do feel that those who are just dipping their toe into writing will get more from it than those further on their writing journeys. Write, Publish, Repeat talks about marketing. The Fiction Formula talks about the nuts and bolts of writing. It covers topics such as plotting versus pantsing, story beats, understanding genre, avoiding procrastination, launching a novel, and keeping your backlist relevant. Someday, I want to gift a paperback copy of this book to everyone in my writer's group. That is how amazing and important I found this book and why I am giving it a 5 star. The only negative I will throw in here is that, as someone who has over 15 books out, much of the early part of this book was less relevant for me. I am already confident of my place on the plotter pantser spectrum. I already use maps to help me enrich my setting. I already understand that keeping your butt in the chair and scheduling time to write are important. Much of the early part of this book felt more aimed at newer writers. I did however benefit greatly from some of the latter material such as launch strategies, marketing, and keeping the backlist relevant. If you are a writer, especially one on the newer end of your journey, this book should be on your shelf. If you love a writer or someone who wants to be a writer someday, this book is an amazing gift. I recommend this book highly to writers though as I said I think those who have their writing process well established will benefit less from the earlier part of this book but can still find gems in the latter half.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jerry Walch

    The king of horror, Stephen King said, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcuts.” If you are just getting started as a writer this is one book you need to read, The Fiction Formula: The New Rules for Self Publishing Success by Johnny Truant and Sean M. Platt. Even if you plan to pursue traditional publishing, this book is a must read. This is a book that you will want t The king of horror, Stephen King said, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcuts.” If you are just getting started as a writer this is one book you need to read, The Fiction Formula: The New Rules for Self Publishing Success by Johnny Truant and Sean M. Platt. Even if you plan to pursue traditional publishing, this book is a must read. This is a book that you will want to keep close at hand so you can refer back to it again and again as you travel the path to becoming a successful writer. Sean and Johnny not only talk the talk, they walk the walk, each having over 100 published titles to their names. Although this book is titled The Fiction Formula, there is much here that the aspiring nonfiction author can profit from. This is a book that I would have given an arm or leg for when I started out as a technical writer forty-plus years ago. Even with all those years behind me, I picked up a few useful tricks from reading this book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lucas Schmidt

    Good advice that could have been said in 200-250 pages. The part about choosing the right genre is valuable. Some people might switch genres after reading that section. Other parts were vague but pointed you in the right direction--to another book written by them or someone like Chris Fox. It does open your eyes to what is important when someone wants to write for the rest of their life, which is writing good books that people want to read and sometimes re-read. A lot of it is advertising their Good advice that could have been said in 200-250 pages. The part about choosing the right genre is valuable. Some people might switch genres after reading that section. Other parts were vague but pointed you in the right direction--to another book written by them or someone like Chris Fox. It does open your eyes to what is important when someone wants to write for the rest of their life, which is writing good books that people want to read and sometimes re-read. A lot of it is advertising their studio that consists of about 20 writers that write books for them. Interesting to read about that sort of set-up, especially when they mention they are making a movie with a budget that will be around seven or eight figures. It sounds like their method works. It would be worth it to put it to the test for months and years.

  10. 4 out of 5

    R.K. King

    I've recently gone through a couple of writing-as-a-business books which I had to put down because they veered into pretentious territory. I've always believed that writing isn't all that complicated in terms of brainpower. It's not rocket science, but those books made writing into exactly that. Instead, here with The Fiction Formula we have an easily approachable take on the art of writing, as well as the technical prowess of the business end. I appreciated Platt & Truant's casual language and n I've recently gone through a couple of writing-as-a-business books which I had to put down because they veered into pretentious territory. I've always believed that writing isn't all that complicated in terms of brainpower. It's not rocket science, but those books made writing into exactly that. Instead, here with The Fiction Formula we have an easily approachable take on the art of writing, as well as the technical prowess of the business end. I appreciated Platt & Truant's casual language and not-full-of-themselves view of what they have accomplished thus far. It helps to allow yourself to visualize that you as a writer can do it too. Good job, guys. Join the RK King readers' list for an exclusive FREE short story, plus inside info, musings, promos and more: RK King Writes

  11. 5 out of 5

    Taylor Ellwood

    This book presents a good overview of the craft of fiction writing and some of the elements of the business of writing. I've given it 3 stars though because the authors haven't really addressed the advertising or marketing aspects to any degree of depth. In fact it feels like they basically took part of Write, Repeat, Publish and did a bit of updating about advertising, but nothing that would bring it up to speed for 2020. It would have been nice if they had provided some much more updated infor This book presents a good overview of the craft of fiction writing and some of the elements of the business of writing. I've given it 3 stars though because the authors haven't really addressed the advertising or marketing aspects to any degree of depth. In fact it feels like they basically took part of Write, Repeat, Publish and did a bit of updating about advertising, but nothing that would bring it up to speed for 2020. It would have been nice if they had provided some much more updated information and strategies or references to more than just one author. It's still a good book and I did get a lot from it about the process of crafting fiction, but they need to speak to the marketing in more depth than they do.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ellen Bard

    I'm a longtime fan of Sterling and Stone, but even so was really impressed by this book, which contains a comprehensive review of activities needed from pre to post publication and everything inbetween. The authors discuss how to professionalise your writing and marketing and all the bits around it, including reminding authors they are running a business. I've enjoyed following the authors over the last 5 years and this contains a huge amount of wisdom and advice distilled into easily accessible I'm a longtime fan of Sterling and Stone, but even so was really impressed by this book, which contains a comprehensive review of activities needed from pre to post publication and everything inbetween. The authors discuss how to professionalise your writing and marketing and all the bits around it, including reminding authors they are running a business. I've enjoyed following the authors over the last 5 years and this contains a huge amount of wisdom and advice distilled into easily accessible form. I've read through it once and now I’m going through again mind mapping critical bits - there's so much to learn and take from this. Recommended to all fiction authors at most levels - there's bound to be some useful strategic advice in here whatever your current stage.

  13. 5 out of 5

    A.M.

    The Sterling & Stone group have published hundreds of books. They know what they are doing. Know your why? I can hear Sean saying. Or, as they put it: the first draft is when you say it, the second draft is when you say what you mean, and the third draft is when you say it well. They start with your genre, and your idea and go all the way through the entire process to running a writing business. Johnny has a distinctive writing style and if you don’t like it, you won’t enjoy reading this, but I have The Sterling & Stone group have published hundreds of books. They know what they are doing. Know your why? I can hear Sean saying. Or, as they put it: the first draft is when you say it, the second draft is when you say what you mean, and the third draft is when you say it well. They start with your genre, and your idea and go all the way through the entire process to running a writing business. Johnny has a distinctive writing style and if you don’t like it, you won’t enjoy reading this, but I have been watching their videos for years. [ omg the Dave’s decoy wallet episode - I am laughing just thinking about it.] 5 stars

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jason Nugent

    Excellent book for indie authors to check their bearings. Excellent book for indie authors to check their bearings. Johnny and Sean present best practices to set authors on the path to success. Is there a set “plug and play” (their words) formula guaranteeing success? No, but with the methodologies presented, the reader can expect to build a better brand and more viable business.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tammie Painter

    This is a terrific overview of not only the writing process (and how to go about it without going bonkers), but also how to treat your writing as a business, how to market (not extensive, but again, a good overview), and how to avoid certain pitfalls. I read this as an audiobook and my only complaint is that it would be nice if the chapters in the audio files were labeled by name as well as number to make it easier to go pick and choose what I might want to re-listen to.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Marcy Kennedy

    I'm planning to read this again to take notes. So why a 4-star rating instead of a 5? The helpful nuggets are buried in among vague generalities that really needed to be delved into more deeply. I know they say they're trying to be general so that this book will continue to be useful years from now, but a lot of spots are too general to be useful at all. Personal preference - I don't like how much profanity this book includes. It seems inappropriate in a non-fiction teaching manual. I'm planning to read this again to take notes. So why a 4-star rating instead of a 5? The helpful nuggets are buried in among vague generalities that really needed to be delved into more deeply. I know they say they're trying to be general so that this book will continue to be useful years from now, but a lot of spots are too general to be useful at all. Personal preference - I don't like how much profanity this book includes. It seems inappropriate in a non-fiction teaching manual.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Margie Sullivan

    I'd recommend this book and have to say it was better than I expected. A lot of these books just regurgitate the same information that either they, or someone else, have said before. It was well written and easy to follow, although it would have benefitted from a summary of the so-called Formula at the end. If I have a criticism, it's that I don't understand why writers of these writing self-help books insist on referring to movies as examples rather than books. I'd recommend this book and have to say it was better than I expected. A lot of these books just regurgitate the same information that either they, or someone else, have said before. It was well written and easy to follow, although it would have benefitted from a summary of the so-called Formula at the end. If I have a criticism, it's that I don't understand why writers of these writing self-help books insist on referring to movies as examples rather than books.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Erynn

    A must-read for any indie author thinking long term. This book is a goldmine of strategies for indie authors, especially those starting out and looking to build a long career. I was tempted to highlight half of the book while reading, it was so good... But I settled for highlighting the parts I thought were absolutely key and planning to re-read it in the future. Practical strategies and advice on book structure, series planning, launching, and business as an author. The content of The Fiction Fo A must-read for any indie author thinking long term. This book is a goldmine of strategies for indie authors, especially those starting out and looking to build a long career. I was tempted to highlight half of the book while reading, it was so good... But I settled for highlighting the parts I thought were absolutely key and planning to re-read it in the future. Practical strategies and advice on book structure, series planning, launching, and business as an author. The content of The Fiction Formula will probably be intimidating for many, but as mentioned in the book many, many times, you don't need to digest everything at once. Take what you like the most and start there. Expand when you're ready.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Holger Haase

    Fantastic follow up to their earlier WRITE. PUBLISH. REPEAT. with a much larger focus on the actual writing process as opposed to the publishing and funneling concepts that Platt & Truant have implemented. Not reinventing the wheel but those guys have a knack for providing great common sense approaches to writing and publishing.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cyrus

    Inspirational and practical Practical advice on writing fiction as a business from guys who actually do it and know what works. If you want to make a living as a fiction writer, buy this, read this, and do it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lavinia Thompson

    This book will make you rethink the way you write and publish books completely. The author was both sassy and informative, making for an enjoyable read on what can be some dry subjects. A must read for any indie author. Looking forward to reading "Write. Publish. Repeat." next! This book will make you rethink the way you write and publish books completely. The author was both sassy and informative, making for an enjoyable read on what can be some dry subjects. A must read for any indie author. Looking forward to reading "Write. Publish. Repeat." next!

  22. 4 out of 5

    satendrapalsingh

    Good follow-up to WPR Most lucid advice I've read on how to structure your story and write it out. Very simple and very effective. Good follow-up to WPR Most lucid advice I've read on how to structure your story and write it out. Very simple and very effective.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Grayson Sydney

    An excellent followup!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mel Clark

    A useful book for writers. I've already recommended it to an author acquaintance. A useful book for writers. I've already recommended it to an author acquaintance.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    Solid, nuts and bolts guide to doing things the right way. Equally balanced on publishing and actually writing the books.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Keith Whalen

  27. 4 out of 5

    Clara Ann

  28. 5 out of 5

    James

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lars

  30. 5 out of 5

    Justin

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