Monday, 25 January 2010

Two more Amazon Vine reviews

It seems that the Amazon Vine reviewers (so far, at least) approve of The Writer's ABC Checklist. We've had another two good reviews - and in both cases it's clear they've looked at it from the point of view of how it can help writers.

The first is from an Amazon Vine reviewer called Sarah McCartney:

Lorraine and Maureen are my new heroes. Sometimes, all you need to be inspired is some practical, factual advice. There are hundreds of books about writing and I already own half a shelf full of them. What more was there to say? It turns out that 242 pages' worth just about sums it all up. This is a book for people who already write and just need a kick in the pants to turn them into professionals, and for professionals to keep them up to speed. It gives you essential information on everything from how to format your writing, to checking your work for libellous statements, with the best short piece on punctuation I've read in my whole half-shelfful. The best thing is that it doesn't miss out all the secrets that published writers normally keep to themselves because they're a bit scared of the competition.

It also serves to put off the dreamers. A long time ago I played the sax semi-professionally. Loads of people would come up to chat and tell me they wished they played the sax too. "I'll teach you," I'd say, and then their eyes would glaze over and they'd wander off. They were in love with the idea of being a sax player; the idea of learning for a couple of years didn't have the same appeal. With writing, most of us already pretty proficient at getting words on a page, or a screen, but there's the same mystique about how wonderful it would be to be a writer. There are romantics who dream of having a writer's lifestyle, as seen in style magazines, but don't really want to learn where to stick an apostrophe.

If you're not afraid of putting in a bit of effort to turn your work into a professional piece that you'd be proud to post off to publishers, get this book now. If you've had a few rejections and want to improve your chances, add it to your basket and head to the check-out. If you'd rather dream about it, read your poems to your admiring friends, restrict your short stories to uncritical girlfriends, start another couple of novels but ever finish them, you'll find The Writer's abc Checklist disappointingly practical. Which is fine, because the rest of us don't want your work cluttering up publishers' inboxes.

I'll be recommending it to all my writer chums and every student who writes to me asking how to get started.

And this one is by an Amazon Vine reviewer called E. Chittenden:

It's going to be hard to review a book that gives you advice on achieving something that is often judged by other parties. Without having "used" the book, only having read it, I can say it's an excellently presented book. I sincerely hope that I get to use the advice given in the book as it might make my life a little easier if I plan on becoming a successful author (here's wishing!).

The book is really well presented giving lots of cross referencing and different names for essentially the same thing. I think the authors certainly practice what they preach in terms of advice, which is always a good thing. The book covers the positive and negative aspects of a career in writing in a really proactive manner, which is nice. Instead of books saying "you'll get rejected" and not offering positive advice, suggesting not to give up is a really good thing. It's never nice reading the negative side of publishing without encouraging you to keep going.

With many different topics covered I can see that it will become a very useful tool whilst starting out on my path to a career in writing. I would certainly recommend this book to someone looking to start a career in writing, it gives lots of helpful advice and information.

1 comment:

Keefieboy said...

Can you do something about that flashing 'write your book' logo? Nearly gave me epilepsy!