I just wrapped up my fall quarter writing classes and Betsy Lerner's The Forest for the Trees was recommended to me by my memoir professor. I'm eager to absorb all of the writing advice that I can, so I placed this book recommendation at the top of my winter reading list.
PLOT - In The Forest for the Trees, Betsy Lerner brings her years of knowledge as an editor to the table and dispenses advice on a variety of subjects for the aspiring ( or even seasoned) writer. Lerner does not give advice about how to write a story. This is not a creative guide. Lerner's book is focused on giving a writer solid information on the publishing process. She explains the business side of books and gives tips on moves a writer can make to work within this ever-changing system.
The first half of the book deals with different types of writer personalities that Lerner has encountered. She explains things that she suspects hinders these different personality types from achieving their writing goals and how these types of writers can maintain their focus. The second half of the book deals with the nuts and bolts of the publishing world.
LIKE - I appreciate and respect that Lerner has shared her experiences in her field. There is a lot to be learned in this book and I suspect that it will be a frequent reference over the years. As a beginning writer, there was so much that I learned about publishing. I felt like I gained a completely new perspective on the process. When I finished reading, I felt like my mind was exploding from all of the info!
My biggest take-aways are to have patience, work hard and follow my gut. It seems that the world of publishing moves slowly and that might be hard to swallow in our society that demands immediate gratification. I was heartened by the examples of known authors who have faced multiple rejections and failures, before finding success. Lerner's book is filled with useful information that she dispenses with wit, sarcasm and kindness. I felt like on a whole, the publishing industry is filled with book lovers, who really want to discover that next book that they will fall in love with...and then sell it and make a huge profit!
DISLIKE - Does not long enough count? Seriously, this book is an invaluable tool. I couldn't put it down, because I was just absorbing all of the new information. This book was a revelation.
RECOMMEND - A must for aspiring writers, even those who are considering self-publishing. I'm sure that even the established writer could find wisdom in The Forest for the Trees. Read this book sooner, rather than later.