Independent writer/author Sevastian Winters has some valuable things to say about writing - and the business of writing - in this sharply-worded book. Pay special attention to the section on the importance of branding, something that can spell success or failure for an author regardless of his or her writing ability. Among other things, Winters stresses the importance of an effective cover image - ironic in that this book has one of the worst covers I've ever seen. However, look past the hideous cover and you'll find some real nuggets of wisdom. I can't say that I agree with everything Winters says, but I like him for stating his case and sticking to it unequivocally - which is completely consistent with his views on self-branding.
The material detailing Winters' "story formula" was less valuable to me because, having read umpteen screenwriting books, I recognized that he was espousing a cinematic approach to writing fiction with things like "show; don't tell" and "create suspension." This is the same advice put forward by screenwriting gurus like Robert McKee, and I agree that many writers of fiction would find their work greatly improved if they were to take it. However, it's by no means the only way to go. Overall, however, I thought this was a good read with a lot of useful information and thought-provoking commentary. Just don't stare at that horrible cover too long, or you'll go blind.