Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Book Notes: "How to Make a Living as a Writer", by James Scott Bell

Okay, so this has nothing to do with the review-proper, but it was part of my experience of reading this book and so I have to note it: when I got this book in the mail, the cover looked really familiar. I thought, "Huh, that looks my friend Josh's art," and I looked on the inside cover and guess what? It was!

It's just fun to see your friends' work out in the wild. :)

Now, on to the review itself: "How to Make a Living as a Writer", by James Scott Bell is a lovely little guide. It's fairly comprehensive, covering both traditional publishing and self-publishing, and it's full of advice for both the big picture ("The 5 Biggest Fiction Writing Mistakes") and for the more nitty-gritty ("Managing Your Time").

I liked this book precisely because it took on so many different topics relevant to the modern author's world. While this breadth of topic could have led to a shallow-feeling book, it didn't. I actually got the impression that Bell could have taken each of his chapters and expanded it into a full-length book. It wasn't as if he were stretching his material to cover all the different topics. Each chapter was nicely full of information and felt pretty solid.

"How to Make a Living as a Writer" doesn't contain an in-depth examination of any of its chapter topics, and I suppose that's its weakness. But I didn't pick it up expecting in-depth examination on every single part of the writer's life. I wanted a competent, professional look at all of the different pieces, and I feel that's really what I got here.  Recommended.

Peace of Christ to you, 
Jessica Snell

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