Day Zero: The Morning Your Book Hits the Street

Allow me to be completely honest and transparent here. 

I’ve been looking for a way to notify my 4000 or so Storyfix friends when my new book, “Story Engineering: Mastering the Six Core Competencies of Successful Writing” finally launches.

So let me go straight at this:

It’s out.

Actually, the fabled “publication date” is a bit of a ballpark thing these days. 

The Amazon listing for the book, which has been up for about six months, had listed today, February 24th, as the “Publication date.”  But it’s been for sale there on a pre-order basis for about two months, and they began delivering on those pre-orders about two weeks ago.

As for the bookstores, they’re typically late to this party.  Some may have the book now, but the ones I checked at dawn this morning – yeah, that’s how it goes on Launch Day – didn’t have it yet.

I encourage you to ask your bookseller to get with the program.

If you’ve been here for a while you’ve had your share of my previews and references and links about Story Engineering.  A good number of you have already opted in, and for that I thank you.

By the way, the book has already visited the #1 spot on Amazon’s “Top 100 Bestsellers” within the fiction writing category (if there’s a book out there, it has  a category;) for both the trade paperback and the Kindle versions.  It’s bounced around the Top-15 for a few days now (it’s currently #2 on the Kindle list as I write this), but it’s a long road ahead and chances are I’ll be checking in there about every 90 seconds or so.

That’s how it goes from the writer side of this process.  It’s what you’ll do, too, when your book reaches launch day.

Any writer who says she/he doesn’t check is lying.  Any writer who says they don’t care is named Jonathan Franzen (inside joke, Google him and Oprah in the same line and you’ll get it).

So here we are.  The book is out. 

I hope you’ll pick one up.  It’s the whole six core competencies enchilada, complete with extra spicy sauce and examples right off the bookshelf.

Dare I say, it’s the book you’ve been looking for to wrap your head around turning a story idea into a publishable manuscript.  There are many other worthy and wonderful titles out there in this arena – including the work attributed to the names below — but you should know that Story Engineering offers a completely new paradigm and model on how to get it done.

We never get too much insight into things that are both hard and worthwhile.

For now, I’d like to offer you a few blurbs from some famous names.  Terry Brooks, Christopher Vogler and Jim Frey kind of famous.

I told you I didn’t make this sh*t up. 

I just broke it down, then re-interpreted, re-engineered and repackaged it in a way that’s never been done before.   

The Blurbs

“If you’ve been searching for an accessible, well-reasoned explanation of how the story building process works, look no further. Here is the roadmap you need to understand the craft of writing.”  Terry Brooks, author of more than twenty five bestselling novels including The Sword of Shannara

“Nobody on the planet teaches story structure better than Larry Brooks.  Nobody.” — Randy Ingermanson, author of Writing Fiction for Dummies

“Story Engineering is a master class in novel writing. Reading it is like getting an MFA, without the pesky admissions process or student loans. This book will make you smarter about the craft. Period.”  Chelsea Cain, New York Times Bestselling author of  Heartsick, Sweetheart, and Evil at Heart

“Larry Brooks’s Story Engineering is a brilliant instructional manual for fiction writers that covers what the author calls the `Six Competencies of Successful Storytelling.’ The author presents a storytelling model that keeps the writer focused on creating a dynamic living and breathing story from concept to the `beat sheet’ plan, through story structure and writings scenes. It’s a wonderful guide for the beginner and a great refresher for the pro. I guarantee this book will give you new ways to fire up your creativity.”  — Jim Frey, author of How to Write a Damn Good Novel

“A useful guide explaining how to transfer screenwriting techniques to the craft of novel-writing. Good for screenwriters, too, summarizing the essence of entertaining commercial storytelling with great clarity.”  — Christopher Vogler, author of The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure  for Writers

“Larry Brooks’ groundbreaking book offers both novelists and screenwriters a model for storytelling that is nothing short of brilliant in its simplicity, its depth, its originality and its universality. Following his unique process is guaranteed to elevate your writing to the highest professional level.” — Michael Hauge, author of Writing Screenplays That Sell, and Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds

“Save yourself years of fuzzy workshops and failed drafts. Here is Story revealed with clarity, inspiration and simplicity. A masterful guide to the novel.” — Kay Kenyon, author of Bright of the Sky

Thank you, Storyfix readers, for making this book a reality.

Larry’s son, Nelson, has one more college year to go , so he hopes you’ll give Story Engineering a try.  It’s unconditionally guaranteed to enlighten and empower your storytelling process, so if you decide you want your money back… see the clerk at Barnes & Noble.



Filed under Six Core Competencies

24 Responses to Day Zero: The Morning Your Book Hits the Street

  1. I’m heading to the local Barnes & Noble. I’ll be looking for it!

  2. Did a pre-order. Amazon said it’s on the way.

    I will devour it.

    Then I’ll have no excuses for not starting my re-writes. Arg.

  3. Well, the Amazonians promised delivery today (Friday) and they better be right. I’m planning on applying all I can from it to my WIP (which, by the way, has needed no major plot tweeks from the 1st draft, thanks to the structure knowledge I’ve leached from your site)

  4. Congrats on your book launch! I will be placing an Amazon order for your book shortly–I am currently working on my first novel, so I know it will be a great fit.

  5. Congrats on your launch day!

    Tomorrow eve I’m attending the launch party for Kristina McMorris’s “Letters from Home” at B&N (Clackamas). If Story Engineering is on their shelves, I’ll get my copy there. Otherwise I’ll get the eversion next week.

    “Story Engineering” is the designated craft book I will read when I’ve completed my current process on my WIP. I always read one “in genre” and one craft book in the resting time between each stage of drafting a novel.

    Your book is very timely because my WIP is currently being chopped into scenes and imported into a storyboarding software program. It’s a WIP that’s been on the shelf for a few years and needs a total break-n-block rework, as well as a word count slice-n-dice. So once I get through this manual process, and scope through the outline details for holes, then “Story Engineering” will be the awesome tool of choice I pluck from my writers tool box.

    Thanks for writing it.

  6. In may hands. Will be back in a week…

  7. Thank God! I’ve been waiting forever:)

    Congratulations, my friend. I’m clicking the order button today.

  8. Werner

    Hi Larry,

    The book arrived on the 23rd (from Amazon) and I’m eating it up. When I did a full chapter-by-chapter scan, I could see how this book completely differentiates itself from all others. It feels like I’m getting an MFA education – but more focused and getting right to the meat of the matter.

    Thanks, first, for such an informative blog and second, for publishing a book that fills the gaps and answers the questions all the other books left on the table.


  9. Martha Miller

    My copy arrived a few days ago from Amazon and of course, everything stopped here at my house while I held it in my eager little paws and checked it out, cover to cover. Having taken your classes on the Six Core Competencies, it’s wonderful to have them all wrapped up in one handsome little red book, ready for instant gratification. Thank you for making this possible. I think Story Engineering would enjoy a good market as an audio book. Many of us spend a lot of time in our cars and would enjoy being able to slip a disk into the CD player and let the principles of Story Engineering penetrate our consciousness that way.

  10. I’m a bit late to the party, but congratulations! I’ve been waiting eagerly for this book… I’m headed to B&N today to pick it up. And I’ll let my network know about it. 😀

  11. Jessica Graves

    I’ve already received and started reading my copy. I can’t wait to really dig in!

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  13. So happy for you, Larry! I hope you relish this moment. The other day someone asked if I might be interested in teaching a class on ‘story’ to some up and coming 3D animators and digital movie makers. My first thought was: Your book would make a perfect syllabus! Now, go, stop reading comments and celebrate!

  14. UPDATE — although this fluctuates a bit during the day, as I write this the book is sitting at #1 AND #2 on the Amazon bestseller list for fiction writing reference books. Interestingly, the Kindle version #1, which I think says a lot about the new landscape of publishing we now have. Here’s the link to that:

    Huge THANK YOUs to all of you for your support. L.

  15. Gina

    I just called my local Barnes and Noble in an outlying suburb of Denver (Littleton, CO) and they have it. I’m going to go pick it up tomorrow. Awesome.

  16. Tom Ball

    I received my Amazon pre-ordered copy of Story Engineering earlier this week. I am both enjoying and learning from it. I would like to give an autographed copy as a gift. Are they available? Thanks for a great book!

  17. Thanks, Larry. Thanks a helluva lot.

    I’m half way through (I abandon all pretense of personal responsibility when I get a good book) and all I can see in my future, apart from the obvious step up in quality for my writing, is an ever increasing army of competition.

    Aspiring novelists will latch on to your book (easy to find at the #1 spot) and step up their game, flooding the market and making it harder for those of us that found you first to get that shelf space in B&N or, here in Australia, Dymocks.

    Now I have to work *extra* hard…

  18. Patrick Sullivan

    Haha Tony, so true. Flip side is it’s easier to talk to other writers because they’ll understand the same lingo now. And having fellow writers who get it to use for idea bouncing/critique groups/etc just makes us all better.

    And wow other Denver area people keep showing up here, always a pleasant surprise.

  19. Michael J Lawrence

    I bought the Kindle version. For $10 (a trip to Starbucks with my wife), you get everything you have come to expect from Larry. And a little bit more.

    This book is absolutely marvelous. Virtually anything else I’ve read on the craft of writing fiction has left me with questions like, “Yeah, but *how* do you do that?” and “What the hell are you really trying to say without actually saying it?”

    Larry presents the process of craft, clearly, succinctly and effectively. Even though I’ve read most of, I found myself with even more “a-ha!” moments that I could *immediately* apply to my own writing. It’s like mining for gold at a jewelry store. It’s all right there in front of you.

    He has parted the curtain so you can see how to put it all together.

    Everybody who has gotten anything from Larry’s generosity here at storfix really needs to pick up this book. He deserves it.

    And so do you.

  20. I have ordered it and am looking forward to it. I definitely need it! Congratulations on publishing it.

  21. I’m reading it now. About a third of the way through. Processing. Processing. Processing. 🙂

  22. Congratulations Larry! Hope they sell like hot cakes. 🙂

  23. Let me just add my endorsement that the book is AWESOME and will TURN YOUR WRITING LIFE AROUND if you LET IT. Invest in your career and buy this book as soon as possible.

  24. Kate

    Hi Larry,

    Went ahead and ordered your book on Amazon, and while I was there ordered a couple of your past books too–Bait and Switch and Pressure Points from way back in the early 2000s– because I was super impressed by the reviews you got on those. A lot of them mentioned your “flawless” writing–which is unusual to hear about plot driven stories. Gotta see this for myself! Anyway thanks for the great website, and congrats on the book launch.