Monday, March 28, 2011

Review: The Career Novelist

Happy Monday, everyone! Hope you guys had a great weekend! Though I don't usually review anything other than fiction, I just recently finished reading Donald Maass' The Career Novelist: A Literary Agent Offers Strategies for Success and I thought that since I like to give writing advice on the blog, why not review a book just for writers? So here it is.

Synopsis: "Successful New York literary agent Donald Maass has guided many fiction writers from first book to full-time career. In The Career Novelist, Maass has gathered his considerable experience and insight both as an agent and as an author of fourteen novels and put it into one indispensable resource. From Maass, learn about: the dream and reality of being a published author, how to choose an agent, the marketing game, collaborations, electronic rights and much much more! Whether you are launching or jumpstarting your writing career, The Career Novelist is the place to start."

Genre: Non-fiction--Writing

First Lines: "It is the dream of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, to write fiction full-time. This dream has a powerful allure. To do nothing but create, to spend one's working hours in the dream state of one's imagination--who wouldn't treasure that? Making that dream a reality is the subject of this book." Kind of lures you in, doesn't it?

Brownie Points: The power of this book lies not only in the fact that it has a little bit of something for writers of all levels, but that despite it's non-fiction topic, it manages to stay interesting and intriguing with an often humorous voice, while simultaneously being very informative.

Beefs: The only disadvantage to this book is it's date of publication. This book came out back in the mid-90's, so in certain spots to do with "current publishing markets" it can be out-of-date. However, the majority of the book still manages to stay relevant as it offers inside looks at the publishing industry from an agent's perspective, viable career planning methods, and gives a whole different look at marketing.

Recommendation and General Comments:  Overall, this is a really fantastic read. It has a little bit of something for writers of all different levels. I wish I'd read this book when I first started writing, because it would've given me so much guidance that I had to teach myself in the beginning. I've been writing seriously for three years now and am a soon-to-be full time Masters level creative writing student, so I consider myself to be relatively knowledgeable about the publishing industry. Yet, this book still managed to offer career planning techniques I was previously unaware of. Even if you've been writing for twenty years, I'm certain you'll be able to find something helpful within the pages of Maass' book.

This is a great book and I highly recommend it. Whether you're just now starting to take your career seriously, or you've been trying to give up your day job for years, this book has something for you.

Would I aspire to write like this author? 
Are you kidding me? He's Donald freaking Maass! Of course I'd aspire to write like him! The man is a writing/industry genius! His books on writing/editing just blow my mind and have made my manuscript infinitely better. I'm like a giddy, writing fan girl for this guy lol.

Hope all of you writers have enjoyed the review! Til Wednesday ;-)

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