by Deborah Halverson
Publisher: Writer’s Digest Books
★★★★★ (5 / 5 stars)
This is my first time reviewing a non-fiction book, but I felt I needed to give my thoughts on this book, especially with it being in a relevant genre that I generally review. I’d been reading this book the same time I was writing one, and I have to say, hands down, this is the best craft book I’ve ever read, especially for the New Adult genre. This isn’t just your standard writing book. This focuses specifically on the New Adult genre (and subgenres), its intricate tropes and aspects that make up the genre, and how to market it. Of course, it is also a writing book, as it goes over the basics of how to plot, edit, and do all those other types of things you see in standard writing books. But the twist is how to do all those things and still stay true to the NA genre. So as I read this book, I was able to pick up on many things I was doing right or wrong in my current manuscript, and the book explained how to go about fixing or enhancing those areas. I could not think of a single thing from each of the fifteen chapters that I didn’t learn. Whether you are a self-publisher, or an author looking to get traditionally published, this book covers it all. The book explains the basics of what you will need to do to format your manuscript for ebook and paperback publication, but nothing too technical. It also listed tips and techniques on how to land an agent and editor, complete with a sample query letter that describes in detail about what information should be mentioned where.
The book also provided several writing exercises and sample worksheets to fill out to help develop your story. One such worksheet was the Story Structure one from chapter 7. Reading this book while working on a manuscript helped me to do these worksheets and exercises more efficiently and also help me to see where I can strengthen areas of my story.
There are plenty of quotes in this book from renowned authors like Tammara Webber and J. Lynn, agents like Stacy Donaghy and Sara Megibow, and editors like Karen Grove and Nicole Steinhaus. And the Foreword is by Sylvia Day. There is definitely an all-star line-up of contributors in this book, and everyone has small, but highly valuable nuggets to share about their experience with the New Adult genre, and the writing/publishing industry as a whole.
I could go on and on about this book. This is indeed a ‘keeper’ for reference material, especially for writers who will be writing New Adult fiction long-term. I highly recommend this book for New Adult enthusiasts, and those who are curious about the genre, but don’t know what it’s all about.