The Street-Smart Writer – A Book Review

I’m not sure if you can see all the red tabs in this book. As I read it, I marked spots that had helpful information. There’s a lot of tabs because The Street-Smart Writer by Jenna Glatzer and Daniel Steven provides tons of information. A lot of places tell writers and aspiring writers to check out publishers, agents and others before doing business with them. Good advice, but until I read this book, I had no idea where I should check to get that information. Now I do.

Like the writers of this book, I long ago made the mistake of paying an agent to read my first novel. Of course they found something wrong with it.  But I’ve had others read it since and while it had and continues to have problems, no one has been able to verify the only complaint that agency had about the novel. It was long enough ago, the manuscript came back with a mimeographed form/check list. I can only surmise that either the wrong item was checked or I got someone else’s review.   Enough said. It’s well worth the price of this book to find out that you should never pay an agent.

That’s not the only scam writers can wander into. The Street-Smart Writer warns of plenty of others – like one of my favorites – contests. Fortunately, I read the book just a few days before I was going to submit to the same contest one of the writers did in the book. The writer was scammed, but I saved $50.  It also has a large section of typical legal forms writer’s encounter. This section is invaluable, yet, as Glatzer and Steven warn, is not a substitute for legal help. Even so, it does provide information so that the writer can be an informed consumer of legal help and hopefully, save some time and money simply because the writer knows the right questions to ask.

As you can probably guess, I highly recommend this book. It is about five years old; yet, I haven’t found a non-functional website listed in the book. However, Jenna Glatzer and Daniel Steven’s names are no longer prominent on the website, unless I missed them.


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