This sharp and pacy book checks you out first to see if you're the right reader. I love that, I know if I am or not and then I either self-select out...moreThis sharp and pacy book checks you out first to see if you're the right reader. I love that, I know if I am or not and then I either self-select out (no hard feelings) or go on to gobble up the goodies.
There is no secret to the subject of this book, it is about publishing books and how, what you might not expect is how truthful and outcome driven it is. There are hard truths to writing (especially for those of us with day jobs) and this is not a scammy work-around book dealing quick fixes. These guys expect you to create the wordcount. There are plenty of other great books out there on writing and style and punctuation and so on to help you with the content of your wordcount. This book is about what to do next inside a strategy aimed at sloughing off the day job eventually. If the readers think you're worth it.
Yes, I said 'wordcount' not writing or prose or storytelling. There's a pushy, brass-tacks tone to most of this book and no matter what you write you'll find helpful information in here. Actually, you'll find helpful info for each step of the strategy. I topped out on my first read at about Chapter 3 or 4. Once I catch up, I'll be taking notes again for the next stages. For me, my big 'ah-ha' out of this first read through was getting the very clear distinction that "Writing is an art. Publishing is a business." and that not only was it ok to treat them differently, I needed to. You might think that is obvious, but I've been tortured by it. Then there was heaps more great gear on fans, how to use the 80/20 rule to focus and prioritise, and some pretty blunt "pointers" on what to stop wasting my time on. Overall I found this book to be really helpful. Really, really helpful.
If you're squeamish about language or precious about writing, this book is not for you, but as I mentioned, they'll let you know that in the free sample. On the other hand, maybe just make the call to take it on the chin this time, After all, if you're a newbie to self publishing and you hope to make a living writing then you need to hear what they have to say.(less)
A fun fast-paced read with plenty of action. You won't get any credit in your occult studies for time spent with this, but you'll get plenty of chuckl...moreA fun fast-paced read with plenty of action. You won't get any credit in your occult studies for time spent with this, but you'll get plenty of chuckles. Not for the seriously-minded.(less)
I've just recently re-read this book and I was pleased to enjoy it. It was a very long journey in the making and it has been a surprisingly difficult...moreI've just recently re-read this book and I was pleased to enjoy it. It was a very long journey in the making and it has been a surprisingly difficult process to revisit it in preparation for a digital edition.
Poetry is not to everyone's taste but I think these works are accessible.(less)
Well known in the blogosphere for his hard-edged Russian take on collapse (dark humour alert), Dmitry rounds out his work in this field with this set...moreWell known in the blogosphere for his hard-edged Russian take on collapse (dark humour alert), Dmitry rounds out his work in this field with this set of case studies. There is a pragmatic and realistic context to this book which you may not wish to deal with. If you are ready to talk or think about the future of our society within the constraints laid down by energy restrictions (and eventually or regionally, total energy disappearance) then you may be ready to take on this book. Dmitry is a great writer, he has a clear easy style and he logically structures his work so that even in the midst of complex ideas, readers can stay with him. In this book the topics and the situations are the hard work (particularly the last (fifth) case study which I wanted to argue against). That is one of the things that I most value about Dmitry's contribution in this field and that is that he holds a mirror up to our pampered lives and invites us to take a swing if we don't like what we see. I found that everything I wanted to argue against in this book was revealed as shadow-boxing with my own preconceptions, biases and egocentric wants rather than him or his case studies being wrong. The case studies are well researched and he provides plenty of footnotes if you have the stomach to dive in deeper. This is not a doomer gloomfest he encourages a proactive ‘save what you value’ approach moving on from the insights that are revealed by the case studies. (less)
There's a different flavour to this book. If you're already a fan of Neil Gaiman that's what I would tell you. Don't expect the same bantering, rollin...moreThere's a different flavour to this book. If you're already a fan of Neil Gaiman that's what I would tell you. Don't expect the same bantering, rolling style of Anansi Boys or even American Gods. This is a quieter, sweeter and sadder book.
If you've not read Neil Gaiman before … are there still people who haven’t? Congratulations are in order as you're about to discover a new definition of fictional delight. I would most humbly suggest that you start elsewhere. There is nothing at all wrong with this book I just think it is better to start with "Stardust" or "Neverwhere" which are straight-forward fun/adventure.
All the elements of a classic Gaiman tale are here in proportion (spooky people, strange goings-on, lonely children, cats, powerful esoteric forces: TICK) and it is a marvellous tale. I had hoped for more and that reflects poorly on my greed as a reader rather than on this story. I have given 4 stars rather than 5 because, and this is so subjective I'm cringing, i felt a bit uncomfortable about it all at the end and I had so so been looking forward to a big fat novel to run away from the world into. In this novel, the world followed more than I expected. (less)
Somehow, much to my detriment; I have gone through life so far having only read one novel by Connie Willis, her clever and snappy 1998 work "Bellwethe...moreSomehow, much to my detriment; I have gone through life so far having only read one novel by Connie Willis, her clever and snappy 1998 work "Bellwether". I enjoyed so much about that book that I wish I had made more of an effort to find her other works at that time.
Connie Willis shows again in this novel that she is thoughtfuland loving and great at building characters and worlds you slip right into. She takes an idea from science and brings it into a recognisable world, then explores the ramifications and that is what she has done with "Blackout". A word of warning (and this should be on the cover of every edition) this is *not* a standalone book - it is part of a double act along with "All Clear". I got caught out and only had the one on hand a situation that I urge you to avoid.
I don't want to say too much as effectively I'm in the middle and I don't know how any of this turns out, but it is a time travel story and together they won the 2010 Hugo award for best novel. If that's not enough to tempt you, I'm afraid you're in the wrong genre. :-) (less)
The evolution (co-evolution?) of humans and dogs is of interest to me so I jumped onto this book when I finally ran across it. I don't read a lot in t...moreThe evolution (co-evolution?) of humans and dogs is of interest to me so I jumped onto this book when I finally ran across it. I don't read a lot in this field, but I thought I would be able to keep up with a pop-science title. Overall I did get a lot out of this book, there were just a number of ways in which it felt like there was another conversation going on that I was not privy to, that the author was having a philosophical stoush with someone and I was only hearing one side of the heated conversation. That was distracting, as were the minor disruptions in the footnoting and the narrative occasionally jumping around. I would like to give this book 4 stars as the contextualising of new genome research within archaeological research and current behavioural information was riveting, however the uneven editing was too distracting and meant that I would put it down for days and weeks rather than hours. If you've ever lived with a dog and found yourself deeply comforted by his or her presence or walked with them and realised you're using your eyes and head to tell them where you're headed next, you too will enjoy the insights this book shares. (less)