The Street Smart Writer: Self Defense Against Sharks and Scams in the Writing World Paperback – Jan 1 2006
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Here's a welcome flip side to those how-to-be-a-writer books that either ignore or barely mention the dark side of writing for hire. The authors--respectively, the founder of absolutewrite.com and a lawyer specializing in publishing-related matters--give readers the skinny on such matters as agents (how can you tell the good from the bad?); writing contests (how to spot the scams); vanity presses and other pay-for-publish schemes (not all of them are rip-offs); and other potentially shady elements of the business of writing. The book offers a number of revelations--you don't need an agent to get published, despite what nearly everybody seems to tell you--and it contains such a large amount of essential information that it should be required reading for anyone with a story to sell. It's also worth noting that, overall, the authors take an optimistic stance: the business of writing, they say, is full of honorable people genuinely interested in seeing writers succeed. But there are also charlatans, too, and this guide tells you where to look for them. David Pitt
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The Street Smart Writer includes such informative topics as how to spot a crooked literary agent/film manager (chapter 1), what to do if an author has ALREADY been scammed (chapter 4), avoiding deceptive contests (chapter 8), along with a crash course in copyright law (chapter 9). Included are samples of literary agent agreements, publishing agreements, film option agreements and the like, so that an author can see what a good one SHOULD look like.
In addition, the upbeat tone and positive attitude of the writing tells readers that "you're not an idiot if you fell for a scam!" While it seems so basic not to blame the victim for being cheated, in the world of publishing, this is quite often what happens. Becoming a published author seems such a far-away dream for many that they quickly fall under the spell of the first scammer that pays a compliment or offers validity to their writing.
I can't say enough about this book and what it tries to do. I also know that there's a good chance that people will try to slam it, simply BECAUSE it's such a valuable book. It will cut into the profits of scammers, and the truth hurts enough that some will try to lash back, at both the book and the authors. Don't believe them. This book is worth buying if you're learning the publishing world. Cathy Clamp
Whether you're new to writing or have already painstakingly tested the oceans of the publishing world, The Street Smart Writer needs to be on your bookshelf for quick and easy reference.
The Street Smart Writer is loaded to the gills with advice for spotting the difference between good agents and those who try to fleece writers (chapter 1), spotting false credentials (chapter 15), and protecting yourself from threats and lawsuits (chapter 16).
This book is an excellent guide for learning the ins and outs of publishing from deciding if you need an agent, finding an agent, and signing the contract, to fulfilling your dream of publication. It includes tips on how to research agents and provides you with directories and databases to perform that research, lists what a writer should and should not pay for, tells you how to spot legitimate contests, and explains the differences between vanity and subsidy presses and self publishing.
For those who have already run into sharks and scammers, Glatzer and Steven give pointers as to "how to sniff out a fishy agent or manager" and "what to do if you've been screwed" (chapter 4). If that doesn't give you reason enough to buy this book, the crash course in copyright (chapter 9) should.
Glatzer and Steven also include an Appendix of Forms with excellent samples of real literary agent agreements, publishing agreements, film option agreements, permissions, contributor, and trade publishing agreements.
The Street Smart Writer is an absolute MUST for every writer's bookshelf.
Not only does it provide excellent examples and advice, The Street Smart Writer probes many of those complex questions that concern copyrights, contests, and scams. It provides an arsenal for protecting oneself and one's work from those out there that seek to profit on those who don't know the facts about publishing.
Glatzer and Steven arm writers with the tools to recognize the logical fallacies of scam artists. This book is a necessary resource for anyone who plans on publishing. It will give a writer the knowledge to succeed and to avoid the sharks out there waiting for their next dinner.
I highly recommend The Street Smart Writer: Self Defense Against Sharks and Scams in the Writing World. It can be a scary world out there--you owe it to yourself to learn all you can in order to successfully navigate your way through shark-and-scam infested waters. The Street Smart Writer gives you the information and ammunition you need to make wise decisions.