I have to admit, I'm a sucker for books about writing; how to do it, how to get published, how to market it. This book was the latest in a long line of these books, and one that I read in a day. Yes, I read a book called Write and Get Paid for It in a day. It was easy to read, accessible, and there were even a couple of parts that made me laugh. That was an unexpected delight!
I'm the inner-voice in your head; tell them who it's aimed at!
Ah, yes... okay, the book is written from the point of view of an Irish writer. In Ireland. While the techniques in it are most likely applicable to other countries, the media that's mentioned is all Irish. That's just a precaution to anyone thinking of getting this book.
Is it useful?
By itself, not entirely. Okay, there's a lot to learn from it, but you can't get the information on where to submit anything without, say, The Writers' and Artists' Yearbook 2011 (latest edition at the time of writing this) or really good research skills for the web to find all the information you need. Another thing it won't give you is the skill to actually write. That's something you have to work on for yourself. Thirdly, it won't give you the confidence you need to go out and actually work. It's not just about the writing; one has to make phone calls to find out stuff like in-house style guides and editors' names, and there's all sorts of stuff we all have to be ready for. But this book won't give you confidence. Okay, you may find confidence in having the knowledge, and that's good, but knowledge from a professional is all you'll get in that area.
How helpful has it been to you?
So far I haven't used it, properly. You know why? No confidence. Also a crazy life. But that's a different matter altogether. But it did give me ideas for articles to write. Not directly, I might add. I just got ideas while reading the book. In that regard, it has been helpful. In other ways, not so much. Yet. I am determined to make this work for me. I just have another issue, which is that generally the people behind the phones at newspapers aren't available at the weekend. And, you know, confidence.
Would you recommend it?
If you're serious about writing and earning from it, yes. You really need to get this book. Of all the books I've read on the matter of publication, this was probably the best one. Ladies and gentlemen, I urge you get it. Just, if you're not from Ireland, remember to contact your own newspapers - not only is a phone call cheaper, papers are more likely to publish an article from an author within their own country when it comes to articles. Basically it comes down to culture differences; what I write may not reflect well over in the States, because I don't know everything about American culture and idioms, and the same goes for American writers over here. But yes, the book is definitely recommended for writers who want to earn money. It's a motivator. Even if, you know, it doesn't give you confidence. (Or at least, it doesn't give me confidence.)