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A personal view on the writing/publishing world, in easy to digest bits

  • Full title: Shooting yourself in the head for fun and profit: A writer's survival guide
  • Author: Lucy A. Snyder (aka Lucy-S)
  • Year: 2014
  • ISBN-10: 0692208453
  • ISBN-13: 978-0692208458
  • Amazon customer rating at the time of writing this review: 4.7 out of 5 (7 reviews)

What?

Bram Stoker Award winner, author and noder Lucy A. Snyder shares her experiences and advice on the wonderland of writing and publishing. This is not one of those one-size-fits-all solutions and "tips" for writers, but the personal view of a single writer, sharing her experiences while recognizing how much things can be different from what she's lived through.

Book structure

The book is divided in 6 big parts:

  1. Finding your writing target: general advice for aspiring writers, including a few bits of not-so-nice truths about writing (spoiler alert: writing is hard, publishing is hard)
  2. Getting to work: Advice on the actual writing (writing a plot, a setting and characters), rejection and binge writing
  3. Your writing allies: Collaborations, writer workshops and literary agents (spoiler alert: these are also hard, but very rewarding)
  4. This Town is big enough for the Thousands of us: Conventions. Conventions everywhere.
  5. Helping your book make an impact: On getting people to talk about your book and actually buy it
  6. Master wordsmiths: The basics of author interviews and actual interviews and profiles
  7. Welcome to the genre jungle: Exactly what it says on the tin

Each part is composed of several short chapters dealing with related but separate topics

Why?

Because it's a way of helping aspiring writers who have little to no clue about the world of publishing. Because it's not just "Tips for being a writer" or a magic recipe to get published. Because some people have never considered about going to conventions or establishing writing workshops in a proper, ordered way. Because it's a point of view, and not the point of view.

What do you think, Andy?

As the Municipal Liaison of my NaNoWriMo region, I've met more than one fellow offering several "services" to me and the writing group: seminars, copyediting, publishing... the whole enchilada. I've often turned them down, partly because I'm afraid of scammers trying to prey on a group of naïve writers.

There are lots of things I'd like to say to my NaNos, but I'm not a seasoned writer, or anything like that. I'm just an amateur who decided to organize the region, but I'm no more experienced than any one of them. Lucy's book is precisely the kind of book I'd recommend them to read. Hell, the kind of book I'd buy to keep in our shared library. The kind of book I'd tell them to read if they're serious about writing (and many of them are). Rest assured, I'll buy and give away one copy in a raffle this November.