Reviews of Writing Books

The Internet Writing Journal, September 2002

Do The Write Thing by Kwame Alexander with Nina Foxx

Manisy Willows Books, January, 2002
Hardcover, 123 pages
ISBN: 0967895960
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Do the Write Thing
 by Kwame Alexander with Nina Foxx This concise book spells out what beginners looking to self-publish need to do. In an easy-to-follow manner the book lays out common sense approaches to essential tasks, such as getting the book written, fine-tuning what you have written, creating a publishing company, designing your book's cover, printing your book and marketing and selling your book. The book includes anecdotes, examples and tips to help writers understand the important steps of hiring an editor, obtaining ISBN numbers, preparing your book for the printer and creating a press kit. The book also includes sample worksheets to help writers complete their book and get it published. Recommended reading resources are also provided for writers that need additional information. The friendly, informative writing style in this book will be most appreciated by writers who are new to self-publishing. Highly recommended for the self-publishing novice.

The Writer's Handbook 2003 edited by Elfrieda Abbe

The Writer Books, September, 2002
Paperback, 1054 pages
ISBN: 0871161966
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The Writer's Handbook 2003
 edited by Elfrieda Abbe The Writer's Handbook is an annual guide for writers which is packed with practical advice and places to submit your writing, whether it is an article, poem, short story, or novel. Each year the guide includes updated market listings, new articles and lists of current conferences, contests and writing workshops. This first part of this year's edition includes interviews with Jonathan Franzen, John Irving, Sue Miller, Anita Shreve and other bestsellers. Valuable advice that both inspires and informs is contained in essays from Terry McMillan, Elmore Leonard, Ursula Le Guin, Vanessa Grant and others. The second part of the book contains the market listings, which also include listings for conferences, colonies, prizes and awards. In addition to a large number of fiction and nonfiction markets, the book also includes markets for other types of manuscripts, including greeting card publishers, play publishers, syndicates and television and film products. The markets listings themselves are brief, but contain all the necessary details such as contact information, needs of the publisher, payment information and tips for writers.

This year's edition of the Handbook contains over 3,300 potential markets for writers. It also contains some excellent advice from bestselling authors, covering subjects writers often have questions about: rights, queries, clips, point of view, writer's block, marketing and research. Writers looking for a large collection of both professional advice and good paying markets in one source can't go wrong with the always-reliable Writer's Handbook.

Writing for the Information Age by Bruce Ross-Larson

W.W. Norton & Company, September, 2002
Hardcover, 192 pages
ISBN: 0393047865
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Writing for the Information Age
 by Bruce Ross-Larson Technology has created so many new ways to present information that writers have had to take advantage of these new options in order to entice readers. Bruce Ross-Larson, founder of the American Writing Institute and president of Communications Development Incorporate, provides techniques for grabbing an audience in the computer world in Writing for the Information Age. As Ross-Larson suggests, "Today's impatient readers pay attention mainly to writing that engages them -- to writing that allows them to find quickly and easily what might be of interest." The focus of the book is teaching you how to best organize and present information and link ideas across different media. The book has a unique and easy-to-use organizational structure. Each technique in the book is covered in a two-page spread, which both explains the technique and gives several examples of the technique in use. The technique listings are cross-referenced to other techniques. Writers will learn how to use tools such as word counts, content generators, document models and grammar checkers; use attention-sustaining devices such as short paragraphs, bulleted lists, tables, graphs and boxes; understand and utilize structure, including hierarchy, chronicle events, and sequences; and learn to write effective sentences, paragraphs and select better words. This is a great tool for professional writers, especially those involved with business communications and information technology.

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