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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