BOOK REVIEW: How To Start A Publishing Company by Maxwell Rotheray
If I had to rename this review post into something click-baity, I would call this post “How To Write A Sh***y Resource For A Quick Buck: A Lesson In Editing”. Unfortunately, that title would not be a stretch in the slightest as you will see by the end here.
This month (October, 2022) I decided to get back into tackling my TBR for writing resources and to start researching new ways to get reinspired into a regular writing habit, as well as a few tips to make the writing process easier and faster. Unfortunately, my dive back into my TBR has lead me down the dark rabbit hole that is How To Start A Publishing Company: Turn Your Passion Into Profit Using This Comprehensive publishing Business Blueprint by Maxwell Rotheray. If the tagline for this book didn’t tell you anything, this is going to be a bumpy ride.
What I First Thought When I Bought It
So, originally I purchased this book in 2021, and gave it a quick glance over before throwing it back on my shelf as a TBRL (to be read later). It has since been close to one and a half years since purchasing that I have finally decided to open up this book and get a real sense of the work as a writing resource to compare against others in the field. It was my hope that at the beginning of this journey that I could not only use this book as a guide to pursuing my own publishing needs, but also showcase as a guide and resource for others in the writing community.
Rotheray’s How To Start A Publishing Company marketed itself as a seven step, easy to use guide or blueprint for teaching readers how to start and build a successful publishing company. The pitch, located in the description as well as on the back cover of the book, leans into how … and … the use and effectiveness of this guide can be for users. Unfortunately, this is where the last of the good or neutral things I have to say for this resource ends.
What I Thought As I Was Reading It
My typical reviewing process consists of three steps: 1) speed read for information dumping, 2) slow reading for analysis and commentary, 3) speed reading again while note taking. During this initial speed reading, it was apparent to me that a lot of surface material was either wrong, missing, or just poorly written. By the time I got through a slow read, and it was excruciatingly slow, I noted many grammatical error and poor outline/formatting. Finally, by the time I managed to get to my note taking session, I found myself only discovering more and more negative things to jot down with each section I read.
The front and back covers gives a “pinterest post come to life” vibe that works well for SEO searches and to grab attention, but is not effective or similar to that of well made books on the craft in the current market.
THE AUTHOR + CREDIBILITY
Unfortunately, both the author and the publisher are missing from this book. Looking further into it, it seems that “Maxwell Rotheray” is a pen name or pseudonym used in place of an author or publisher to product other fastpitch, low content resources. The last update I have on a publishing date is even stated as March of 2020, but is only available on the book’s listing and not in the copyright material.
THE TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Table of Contents is also poorly formatted and is a false advertising of a simple to follow and cleanly written book with engaging chapters. This is not the case.
The introduction was the first sign that this was not a good resource. It was far too short, poorly formatted, and overall has poor grammar, spelling mistakes, and was hard to read. This weak begging set itself up for failure.
THE BODY OF THE RESOURCE
Oh the agony of this entire piece…every chapter in this book was rushed, unedited, poorly written, out of order, and missing key info. There were even parts where I felt that the author had copied and pasted sections from other resources as the writing suddenly was legible. It makes me questions if this book could pass a plagiarism test.
The Big Question: Is This A Good Resource For Writers?
So, the big question arises: is Rotheray’s How To Start A Publishing Company a solid and useful resource for writers. My conclusion is…no, it is not.
The book overall gave the bare minimum in order to call itself a writing resource or a self published book. Any information found within its contents were uninformative and a reader could easily require that external research be done on nearly every topic found form within its pages. This alone I find to be hugely disappointing as the book proclaims itself to be a step-by-step (or seven step) “guide” or “blueprint” as to how to start a publishing company, when in actuality, this is just a jumbled mess of craft jargon and copy and pasted information from the internet. I find this book to be lacking in information and simply a marketing tactic to gain a quick buck (or $6.99) from a naive, beginner in the craft when they are simply looking for answers or guidance.
Needless to say, I am disappointed that this book is a terrible and misleading resource that give self-publishing and the craft itself a bad rep. One out of five stars.
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THE BOOK METADATA
Tagline: Turn Your Passion Into Profit Using This Comprehensive publishing Business Blueprint
Author: Maxwell Rotheray
Classification: Nonfiction, writing resource
Rating: 1 star
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