This is for the PRINT VERSION, not the ebook. This is important as some of the flaws are because it seems obvious that ebook/blog was the first priority.
This review is an abbreviated version of my first review as WordPress hiccupped on me after I finished my first version.
SK Quinn has a likeable tone. The book is very “conversational” which is not going to be for everyone. It focuses on the “writer’s life” more than anything, within the context of self-publishing. There are books on the writer’s life out there already, but this does indeed give a bit of the realistic/modern/self-publishing spin to it.
I have been reading, watching, and participating in the eBook revolution and self-publishing revolution for some time. Nothing she said feels wrong. I really like that she does not imply that all self-published authors are going to be rich if they just do the right thing(s). She does this while remaining up beat.
Only a very small portion of the book is going to be devoted to any real “how to” and even that is more generalized and boils down to write fast and publish often. I am, of course, over simplifying.
Generally, the tone and information are good.
Why, then, 3 stars and not 5. Well, I almost NEVER give 5 stars, so really why 3 not 4?
The book suffers from feeling way too bloggy. It reads like thirty blogs mushed together. It is self-referential also. Tons of what look like links (underlined text) to her other book, or even to chapters within the book. This is a bit of laziness of ebook to print formatting.
There are also tons of “icons” or thumbnails of book covers, which in black and white print really don’t work and also feel bloggy. Really, if these things were eliminated (the repetition, the icons, the self-reference) the book would be about 75 pages.
Ending on a positive note. Those 75 pages are not bad and there are a few little gems in there to keep in mind as a self-published author. SK Quinn makes it clear that not everyone will make a living at this and that for many of us this is not the goal, or shouldn’t be. It is a bit memoir like, so what works for her may not work for you and she is focused on writing a lot. It should take you about two hours to read and in the process mark ten pages that you want to return to and think about.
If you already understand the writing life and the vagaries of self-publishing, you may not get that much from this. Still, I liked the tone and realism, versus so many other books out there that really are saying “pay me to help you get rich and if you don’t get rich, it’s your fault.”