Tuesday, May 11, 2010

You Gotta Read This...

by Sean Chercover

I've posted here before about some of my favorite books on writing, and many folks commented to recommend their favorites as well.

Here's another book you should read. A book not just about writing, but also about getting published, promoting your work, issues faced by the publishing industry, the rise of e-books, and so on.


Joe Konrath has been blogging about his publishing journey since he was a newbie, and is one of the most generous writers in the business. He's gone out of his way to help publishing newbies who've come after him, and to help aspiring writers graduate to newbie status, themselves.

And now Joe has now collected the best of his blog essays into a book.

An e-book, actually. At over 1100 pages, it is not something you'll finish in an afternoon, but it is well worth your time. And at only $2.99 for Kindle, it is a steal. If you don't do Kindle, it is also available as a PDF download on Joe's website, for free. See what I mean about Joe being generous?

It also includes an excellent series of essays by bestselling thriller writer (and all-around great guy) Barry Eisler.

Now, I don't agree with all of Joe's opinions. Joe is somewhat of an iconoclast - I don't think even he agrees with all of his opinions - but he asks the hard questions, challenges the status quo, and we all come away richer for it.

A story: When I was writing TRIGGER CITY, I got stuck on a plot issue. Over many beers at The Red Lion, I explained to Joe how I'd written myself into a corner and would never find my way out. Then Joe started talking. And a rapid-fire burst of solutions poured out, one on top of another, competing for attention.

In five minutes, Joe came up with 2,193 different ways to fix my book. Some better than others, but all workable. What amazed me even more was that Joe's suggestions were not mere plot contrivances, but all stemmed from character issues faced by my protagonist.

The guy is a force of nature.

Go get THE NEWBIE'S GUIDE TO PUBLISHING. You won't be sorry.


Kevin Guilfoile said...

Yep, that's what you call a bargain.

David Terrenoire said...

And he's fun to drink with. What more could a person want?

Libby Hellmann said...

Joe has helped me out many times with plots, with advice, and with another glass of wine. He's the best.

Barbara D'Amato said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barbara D'Amato said...

I heart Joe.