Categorized | self-publishing

What not to name your book . . .

In the “book titles that just don’t work” department:

A Crash Course: Ride The Unicycle

In either a fit of cruel honesty or, more likely, a fit of “not looking,” as my old mentor, Rick Memsic, would say, the author, by titling his book, “A Crash Course: Ride The Unicycle,” has vividly enumerated all the reasons I have for not riding a unicycle.

It’s a shame, because this self-published book by Gregg Violo is quite wonderful. In fact, I’d nominate it as one of the best unicycle-training books out there — with the caveat that the only real way to learn to ride a unicycle is to get on the thrice-accursed thing and, yes, crash more than a few times (even with Gregg’s helpful chapter on “How To Fall,” despite our best intentions, some unicycle falls are less controlled than others — the only law of falling that we consistently follow is the law of gravity).

We are currently in the process of writing a new book in our Shoestring Venture series aimed at self-publishers, so I have infinite respect for folks like Gregg who have spotted underserved markets and produced a high-quality product for that market.

However, you need to “look with your eyes” (another Memsic memorable): books on riding a unicycle should provide some comfort to the prospective reader that they will come out of the process relatively intact. “A Crash Course in Excel”? That works, because crushing medical bills and lengthy physical therapy are never part of the Excel experience. “A Crash Course in Skateboarding”? Or even, “A Crash Course in Hard Drives”? Maybe those titles require a second try.

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