Damn! Why Didn't I Write That?
Quill Driver Books, October, 2001.
Paperback, 261 pages.
Although many writers are interested in writing fiction, author Marc McCutcheon sternly informs readers that of the 50,000-plus new book published each year at least 46,000 are nonfiction. He also tells writers they may already be knowledgeable enough in a subject to write a bestseller. McCutcheon, himself a high school drop-out who has written bestsellers like The Compass in Your Nose and Other Astonishing Facts About Humans and Roget's Super Thesaurus, conveys the idea that anyone come up with a great idea for a bestseller. One of the most interesting sections in the book is a list of bestselling nonfiction books, which includes some unusually simple subjects like The World's Dumbest Criminals (80,000 copies sold), 35,000 Baby Names (100,000 copies sold), Really Important Stuff My Kids Have Taught Me (172,000 copies sold), All I Need to Know I Learned From My Cat (1,608,000 copies sold) and The Beanie Baby Handbook (3,000,000 copies sold).
McCutcheon goes on to elaborate on some of these nonfiction success stories, as well as inform readers about how many books they will need to sell to make a living. He also offers suggestions of niche nonfiction markets and provides tips to help writers come up with a subject to write about. In addition to helping writers select ideas for their books, McCutcheon devotes several sections to agents, query letters, book proposals, contract negotiations and book promotion. Examples of queries, contracts and book proposals are given. McCutcheon also includes a special chapter full of tips and information about other helpful resources for people interested in getting a book published. This is a very different kind of writing book that is extraordinarily fun to read. Aspiring authors should take heed of McCutcheon's advice about this genre which for most writers is far more financially rewarding than trying to write and publish the Great American Novel.
Damn! Why Didn't I Write That? is available for purchase on Amazon.com
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This review was published in the March, 2002 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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