About This Blog

This blog was started as a place to post book reviews. The books reviewed here will be mixed. Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, General Fiction, NonFiction and more. Both positve and negative reviews will be posted, as well as reviews for books written for all ages and all reading levels.

Many of the books reviewed here are ones that I have purchased for my own reading pleasure. Some, I receive free in exchange for reviews. Beginning in December, 2009 you will know which are the free ones if you read the final paragraph of my reviews.

Also of note: I choose what I will read, attempting to avoid the books on which I would end up writing a negative review... but I have been known to make mistakes. Thus you see some one and two star reviews here. Since I don't enjoy writing negative reviews, I only write them if the review was promised, or if the book was so exceedingly bad, I just had to say so. Regardless of the percentage of positive to negative reviews on this blog, I give my honest opinion each and every time, and have never received financial compensation for posting my reviews.

Note that, except for fair use portions quoted from some of the books reviewed, all copyright in the content of the reviews belongs to Lady Dragoness.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Long Road to Publication

The Creative Writer's Survival Guide: Advice from an Unrepentant Novelist
By John McNally
University of Iowa Press (2010)
Paperback, 272 pages
Rated 4 stars of 5 possible

The Creative Writer's Survival Guide: Advice from an Unrepentant Novelist is a handbook full of practical and - at times - humorous advice on how to get paid for your creative writing efforts. This book contains not only the how to get your novel published, it also contains information regarding the ways you should not present your work, and yourself, to publishers and agents. The alternate ways to be paid for your writing experience if you're not quite finished with that great American novel, as well as how to find the job that will buy you the writing time you're looking for are discussed in this easy to read, fast-paced book.

The self-publication avenue is also explored, along with the reasons that such a choice is not right for every book or every writer. Pros and cons of placing your novel with a major pubisher, a independent small press, a university press or a print-on-demand type publisher as well as the amount of control the author has with each type of publisher are discussed. Last but not least, the author provides advice on promoting your book once you have a contract and after publication.

Mr. McNally wrote this book as if giving advice to a friend, so much of his personality comes through in the succinct and well-written chapters. Each topic naturally leads to the next in smooth transitional steps, making this guide a pleasure to read and an asset that belongs on the reference shelves of all aspiring creative writers. Once again, the addenda at the end of the book prove to be as interesting as the main portion of this excellent guide. Authors notes, recommended reading lists and a short bibliography at the end of the book contain material to further explore the concepts discussed in this book.

The Creative Writer's Survival Guide was provided to me by the author free in exchange for this review. Recommended for writers and wanna-be writers looking for advice on selling the products of their hard work. Look for it in your favorite book store. This review was simultaneously published on Dragon Views and LibraryThing.

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