Booklife - Digital Strategies and Survival Tips for the 21st Century Writer Paperback – 23 Jul 2010
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"The thing about life is that it's bittersweet. It is both funny and dreadful and horrific and beautiful and everything else. And so to capture that . . . I turn to fantasy for that reason." --NPR's "Weekend Edition Sunday"
"One of the most literary fantasy writers or fantastic literary writers we've got working these days, take your pick." --Ron Hogan, Mediabistro's GalleyCat
"A brilliant writer!" --Peter Straub, author, " Lost Boy Lost Girl"
"One of the things that sets VanderMeer apart is his embrace of technology and media. His online presence is considerable and includes a number of web sites, frequent blogging, a short film adaptation . . . his Alien Baby photo project and even a project involving animation via Sony Playstation." --Wired.com
"Jeff VanderMeer is an extraordinary writer . . . passionate, beautiful, complex, terrifying." --Tamar Yellin, author, "The Genizah at the House of Shepher"
"Well-organized masterclass in understanding how to fit both writing and a writing career into your life." --Cory Doctorow, Boingboing.net
"This guide will surely help writers traverse the often difficult journey from first draft to finished product." --"Publishers Weekly"
"I've long marveled at Jeff's mad alchemist-like techniques of creation, promotion, and artistic survival through his artful navigation of brambly networks of writers, artists, musicians, historians, hatmakers, bloggers, booksellers, reviewers, and fans. To steal a line from an Eddie Izzard stand-up act, 'No one can live at that speed.'"
--Leslie Ann Henkel, publicist, Berkley/New American Library
--Nancy Kress, author of the best-selling Write Great Fiction "Absolutely invaluable...a guide to the 21st century for a writer more up to date and accurate than any other book I've seen on the market."
--Tor.com "If you're at all interested in writing, especially an eventual career in writing (which nowadays requires considerable skill in self-management and strategic use of promotional tools), Booklife should be on your bookshelf."
--Brad Moon, Wired "Booklife is an ambitious and successful attempt at a comprehensive guide to maintaining your sanity while chasing your dreams."
--Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing "Many books tell us how to write, but Jeff VanderMeer's Booklife tells us how to be an author....VanderMeer made me think, question my own path, and make plans for a more focused move forward."
--Mur Lafferty, host and creator of the podcast Geek Fu Action Grip "Who better than VanderMeer, master of the blogosphere and online innovator, to guide us through the burgeoning, oft-breathtaking realm of new media...."
--Joseph Mallozzi, executive producer, Stargate SG-1 "VanderMeer has struck a new sort of balance with the Internet: charming his dedicated fan base on the Web, creating multimedia promotional tools for his books, and actively seeking out new readers like me in the digital crowds."
--The Publishing Spot "Jeff VanderMeer has written a smart practical jungle-guidebook for the wilds of 21st-century publishing--its incredible pressures, joys, poisons, and, most importantly, the dangers of a false sense of control.... Floaty creative types--prepare to be taken to task."
--Julianna Baggott, author of Girl Talk "Booklife serves as a much-needed corrective to the sad 'market your book like a carnival huckster' approach too often found in books of advice for writers these days."
--Michael A. Arnzen, Gorelets "Booklife is to authors in today's publishing climate what Writer's Market was fifteen years ago: essential."
--Michelle Richmond, New York Times best-selling author of The Year of Fog "Excellent advice on building a sustainable writing career."
--Sacramento Book Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Jeff VanderMeer is an American writer, editor, reviewer and publisher. He is the author of the best-selling novels from Bantam, Tor, and Pan Macmillan, has won two World Fantasy Awards and has served as a judge for the Eisner Awards. He reviews for Publishers Weekly and he is a regular columnist for the Amazon book-culture blog. He is a prolific blogger and user of social media and makes frequent public appearances worldwide.
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Booklife will not teach you how to write well. It will not teach you how to structure or characterize or edit purple prose. But it WILL teach you how to cope with being a writer, how to live properly the writer's life, how to avoid many pitfalls, and how view the process of publication. Also, how to view your own work and plan your own career realistically.
The book reads like an easy-going conversation with VanderMeer. Every so often, related professionals chime in. Then the appendices are full of a WEALTH of useful info that comes directly from editors, publicists, and agents. In a conversational tone, again.
Very interesting read. Enlightening and admonishing. It serves up the dirt, the grime, the ecstasy, and the mundanity of the writer's life. If you want to have a chance a a successful writing career, buy this book.
I also recommend:
1) The Forest for the Trees by Lerner
2) On Writing by Stephen King
3) Successful Novelist: A Lifetime of Lessons about Writing and Publishing by David Morrell
4) Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne
5) Outlining Your Novel by Weiland
6) Scene and Structure by Bickham
7) Any of Chuck Wendig's books (or his blog) on writing
8) Anne Rice's writing advice from her Youtube channel
9) Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror: Speculative Genre Exercises from Today's Best Writers and Teachers by Lamson
10) How to Write Tales of Horror, Fantasy and Science Fiction by J. N. Williamson
11) Dark Thoughts on Writing by Stanley Wiater
VanderMeer writes with a warm and gentle voice, and emphasizes the importance of honesty, to one self and to others. Even if you are not a writer or don't even aspire to be one, this book can give you fresh ideas for your chosen path. And also very interesting insight into the world of book publication.