Tag Archives: Book review

Review: The Windup Girl

The Windup GirlThe Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I came across Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl in my son’s bookcase while I was dogsitting and borrowed it because I couldn’t put it down. Not only is it engagingly written, it’s weirdly fascinating. In a chaotic world wrought by global warming, genetically modified humans known as New People are used as slaves. One of them, the “wind-up girl” Emiko, finds herself abandoned in Thailand, in danger of summary execution, and forced to humiliate herself in a sex club to survive. Having heard of a New People refuge in the north of Thailand, Emiko determines to flee there. Amid schemes for regime change, machinations of an alternative power entrepreneur, plague, and gangsters (among others), the plot grows increasingly complex. It’s a bleak, bizarre and strangely convincing world that draws you in and doesn’t let go.

If you enjoy dystopic science fiction set in the near future, this is a good choice.

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Review: Guerilla Marketing for Writers

Guerrilla Marketing for Writers: 100 No-Cost, Low-Cost Weapons for Selling Your WorkGuerrilla Marketing for Writers: 100 No-Cost, Low-Cost Weapons for Selling Your Work by Jay Conrad Levinson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I’ve never been nuts about this book. Some years ago I bought a copy. Recently, a colleague raved about it and so, having tossed out the first one, I bought a second copy.

It seems to me that about 80% of the suggestions in here are self-evident.

* Write a decent book, one with some qualities that appeal to readers.
* Use the last page of your book to urge readers to visit your website.
* Register a domain name for a series as soon as you think of it; don’t wait till someone else claims it.
* Create a presence on sites like Goodreads.

No kidding?

There are some good ideas here, but you have to plow through so much that is commonplace, obvious, or self-serving that you’re probably better off to learn the good stuff on your own, by trial and error.

If you’re a total newbie to marketing and publishing, buy this book. If you’ve been around the block even once, save your pennies.

Victoria Hay, Ph.D.
Slave Labor: The New Story of American Higher Education
Plain & Simple Press: An imprint of The Copyeditor’s Desk, Inc.
Writers Plain & Simple Blog

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