Review by Fuzaila -- The Life and Lessons of a Young Author

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Fuzaila
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Review by Fuzaila -- The Life and Lessons of a Young Author

Post by Fuzaila » 05 Aug 2018, 11:57

[Following is a volunteer review of "The Life and Lessons of a Young Author" by Sunayna Prasad.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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The Life and Lessons of a Young Author is a non-fictional novel written by Sunayna Prasad. She is a published author of three children's books. Through this book, the author shares her writing journey and promises to provide you with tips and writing tactics she picked up throughout her short duration as a published author. Her books are no longer available in the market.

In the beginning, there is an introduction chapter titled ‘How to Use This Book’ where we get to glimpse a little about the author and what she intends to do with the book. The introduction ends with a reminder that, ultimately, it is your own choices and talent that decide how successful you’ll be as an author. The rest of the book is divided into eight sections – each of which gives us a brief outlook on the various phases in the author’s life as a writer. Sunayna started writing at a very young age and took a break from creative writing in her teenage years. When she was nearly sixteen, an idea struck her. She drafted a novel and decided to publish it against the better judgment of the people who warned her that her book would not sell. Sunayna shares her experience in writing her three books, From Fright to Flaws, Wizardry Goes Wild and Alyssa’s African Adventures. Each section highlights the lessons she learned while writing and publishing her books, and how she learned from her mistakes.

I couldn’t believe a book on writing could be so poorly edited. My first impression was dreadful; the Introduction part was poorly written and barely proofread. Thankfully, the writing improves with each section, yet barely so, since the writing-style is mediocre with poorly structured, ungrammatical sentences.

I loved how the author was honest about the darker shades of the publishing industry. She doesn’t hold back in order to encourage budding writers. She makes it plain that for an author with no platform to talk about her books, it is incredibly difficult to find an agent or publisher, much less an audience. It points out the fact that the publishing industry isn’t very welcoming towards new authors. While it might seem like a discouraging factor, Sunayna maintains that if you love writing, you should never consider quitting. Just veer your step towards better marketing, and then share your story – your audience will be much more engaged.

Sunayna Prasad writes as if she knows her readers personally. She doesn’t refrain from sharing the bitter experiences she had as an author. Bluntly pointing out the fact that many authors, including herself, are too thick-skulled to accept constructive criticism, she reinforces the importance of honest feedback from people you don’t personally know. While paying for websites which promise to provide only positive reviews might seem tempting, it is important for an author to be open to negative reviews in order to improve their work. This is reinstated by demonstrating how the average rating for her book dropped low when she decided to give out her book in exchange for honest opinions. I also learned some interesting tidbits like how Amazon doesn’t let your relatives or friends rate and review your book on their website. It was a simple fact that I found useful.

The biggest problem I had with this book was that the advice wasn't exceptional. I’m not a writer, but I am aware of most of the tips mentioned in this book. Any average reader or writer would know these so-called ‘tips and tricks’. It is basic common sense. From her writing, it is clear that Sunayna isn’t an avid reader. She even confesses that she never read for fun. As such, I felt that the author considers her readers to be people with no prior knowledge of the book community. For the most part, the author continually talks about her published books and its premise, which I found to be a rather poor attempt at marketing her own books. Moreover, after reading this book I’ve no intentions of reading another book by the same author.

While people new to the book industry might find this book informative, an average reader will not benefit from it. Clearly the book wasn’t professionally edited, which is a big flaw for a book that claims to teach you a thing or two about writing. I'm not rating it 1 star since there might be people who might find this book useful.
Consequently, I rate this book 2 out of 4 stars. This book is for basic readers who have just discovered the publishing industry. If you’re an aspiring author looking for advice on how to market your book to a wide audience, I wouldn’t recommend this book.

******
The Life and Lessons of a Young Author
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Sarah Tariq
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Post by Sarah Tariq » 08 Aug 2018, 10:16

You are right that the author should have a command over the subject to which he/she is going to discuss. Editing issues makes the book look bad. Thanks for your detailed review.
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Fuzaila
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Post by Fuzaila » 08 Aug 2018, 10:33

Sarah Tariq wrote:
08 Aug 2018, 10:16
You are right that the author should have a command over the subject to which he/she is going to discuss. Editing issues makes the book look bad. Thanks for your detailed review.
I'm glad we agree. Thank you for your comment Sarah :tiphat:
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Post by Abigail R » 08 Aug 2018, 13:27

This sounds like the premise of this book could be so hopeful but because of poor execution, it falls flat. Though it seems like there is some useful information, poor editing makes it fall short.
Thank you for an honest review

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Post by meadhbh » 08 Aug 2018, 17:30

Books about writing can be fascinating, however I would say go for something like Stephen King's On Writing ahead of this, especially if it is badly edited

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Post by JR Mercier » 09 Aug 2018, 14:20

It honestly sucks that this book has such bad editing. I also love that the writer is so honest about the publishing industry. Loved your review.
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Post by Dael Reader » 09 Aug 2018, 19:07

Wow. A badly written book on how to be a writer. Thanks for this review. Now I won't have to waste my time reading it.

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Post by AnnaKathleen » 10 Aug 2018, 07:36

Your review was very honest and written well! I love that you definitely tried to find positive moments of the book, but I have to admit it doesn't sound very good at all. It's sad when the lack of editing is so apparent, especially when the topic is writing related.
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Post by Fuzaila » 10 Aug 2018, 09:04

Abigail R wrote:
08 Aug 2018, 13:27
This sounds like the premise of this book could be so hopeful but because of poor execution, it falls flat. Though it seems like there is some useful information, poor editing makes it fall short.
Thank you for an honest review
Exactly! I was actually looking forward to some informative writing tips which would inspire me to write but unfortunately that's not what happened. Thank you for commenting :tiphat:
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Post by Fuzaila » 10 Aug 2018, 09:17

meadhbh wrote:
08 Aug 2018, 17:30
Books about writing can be fascinating, however I would say go for something like Stephen King's On Writing ahead of this, especially if it is badly edited
I have heard so much about On Writing and other Stephen King works but I've never actually gotten around to reading them. Might be the time now :D
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Post by Fuzaila » 10 Aug 2018, 09:19

JR Mercier wrote:
09 Aug 2018, 14:20
It honestly sucks that this book has such bad editing. I also love that the writer is so honest about the publishing industry. Loved your review.
Thank you! That's what I loved about the book - even though the book is poorly edited, the author's intentions of sharing the reality of publishing are clear. Glad you loved my review :)
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Post by Fuzaila » 10 Aug 2018, 09:20

Dael Reader wrote:
09 Aug 2018, 19:07
Wow. A badly written book on how to be a writer. Thanks for this review. Now I won't have to waste my time reading it.
Thank you! You better not :D
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Post by Fuzaila » 10 Aug 2018, 09:22

AnnaKathleen wrote:
10 Aug 2018, 07:36
Your review was very honest and written well! I love that you definitely tried to find positive moments of the book, but I have to admit it doesn't sound very good at all. It's sad when the lack of editing is so apparent, especially when the topic is writing related.
Thank you Anna! I did try my best to love this book, but the beginning itself was a failure. I agree, for books on writing, necessary precautions must be taken to make sure that the book is well edited.
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Post by Bianka Walter » 10 Aug 2018, 13:37

The fact that the author doesn't read for fun is an instant no-no for me. You cannot possibly hope to publish books (especially children's books) without some sort of reading background. Apart from this, I don't know how someone that is trying to give tips on publishing books can't manage to get their own book proofread. It's just sloppy.
This was a great review - thanks!
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Post by Fuzaila » 11 Aug 2018, 11:01

Bianka Walter wrote:
10 Aug 2018, 13:37
The fact that the author doesn't read for fun is an instant no-no for me. You cannot possibly hope to publish books (especially children's books) without some sort of reading background. Apart from this, I don't know how someone that is trying to give tips on publishing books can't manage to get their own book proofread. It's just sloppy.
This was a great review - thanks!
Sunayna does mention that she tried reading a few books in her genre to 'gain knowledge on the background', but she mentions that she did it only because someone told her it would benefit her, she says like it was a chore to go through those books. As a reader, I did feel a bit offended - but that's not for me to judge.
Thank you for your kind comment Bianka :tiphat:
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