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Book Review: The Street Smart Writer: Self-Defense Against Sharks and Scams in the Writing World by Jenna Glatzer and Daniel Steven

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Multi-published author Jenna Glatzer and publishing law attorney Daniel Steven take you into the murky waters of the publishing industry and fill a lifeboat full of safe firsthand instructions and advice about how to avoid being scammed by publishers, agents, and phony contests.

Whether you’re new to writing or have already painstakingly tested the oceans of the publishing world, The Street Smart Writer : Self-Defense Against Sharks and Scams in the Writing World needs to be on your bookshelf for quick and easy reference.

The title defines the content, and the information provided in this book is the best guide any writer could ask for.

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.

The Street Smart Writer was written by Glatzer and Steven with a candid, upfront and to the point voice using their own experiences and the knowledge of reputable agents, editors, and authors they interviewed for the information.

If you are a writer looking to publish your work, you will find all the information you need to get your feet wet without being netted by those who could tarnish your career. A complete publication timeframe, from manuscript acceptance and edits, to payments and royalties, is laid out in easy to read, no nonsense layman’s terms.

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.

Along with the step-by-step warnings to avoid these slippery sharks, Glatzer and Steven include an Appendix of Forms with excellent samples of real literary agent agreements, publishing agreements, film option agreements, permissions, contributor, and trade publishing agreements.

Before treading the waters of the publishing industry and taking the chance of scammers or sharks fleecing you, purchase the tool that will help you float to your publishing dream. The Street Smart Writer is an absolute MUST for every writer’s bookshelf.
Edited: [GH]

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About Joanne D. Kiggins

  • Sounds like something I have to add to my “to read” list. Man, it’s getting long. Thanks!

  • Yes, this book is a MUST. A great guide.