Bookreview: Burnout by Emily and Amelia Nagoski

Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress CycleBurnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle

by Emily Nagoski
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I first heard about this book on the Smart Bitches podcast and thought it sounded interesting, so when I saw it on Netgalley, I requested it immediately. I burned out last year and ended up leaving my job. Anything that would help with my recovery would be most welcome.
This book made sense. A lot of the stuff you get told to do to protect your mental health – meditate, take ‘me time’, colour in etc – and that sometimes it can feel like yet another thing you have to do. The advice in this book felt different. It helped me make sense of how I was feeling and gave practical suggestions on what to do about it.
The book differentiates between the stress and the stressors. It teaches you how to handle the stress. It’s not a quick fix, but the suggestions do make sense. So far, I’ve tried a few things they’ve suggested and they have helped. Most of all, it’s reminded me not to judge myself too harshly. Turns out, that’s something I do a lot. It also turns out, I’m not along in that!
The book is aimed at women, but I’m going to buy a copy for my husband because I think it is useful for men too. There’s a lot about the patriarchy, but the definition of the patriarchy is such that it’s not about railing against individual men per se, but about the patriarchal society that has pushed us all into unrealistic roles.
I think this is one of the most important books I’ve read in years. Thank you Netgalley for the review copy. As I say, I will be buying a print copy of it anyway.

Buy link UK

Buy link US

Book Review: The Importance of Book Cover Design by J. D. Smith

The Importance of Book Cover Design and FormattingThe Importance of Book Cover Design and Formatting by J.D. Smith

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I picked up this book because I wanted to know what to look for in a book cover – what was good practice, what info did a cover designer need. Also, since I was thinking of putting together some covers for short stories myself.
It is interesting and informative and gives me an idea of what goes into the design of a cover. With book covers the actual making of the cover (the messing around with image manipulation software) is the easy bit. The difficult bit is getting the design part right. This book covers things like font pairing, font placement, contrast etc.
If you’re working with a designer, it also gives you a good handle on what your cover designer is talking about.

It won’t tell you HOW to do it, but will tell you what needs doing. I now have fewer unknown unknowns about book cover design.
A useful book all round.

View all my reviews

Book review: How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis

How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis: A Step-by-Step System for Enticing New Readers, Selling More Fiction, and Making Your Books Sound GoodHow to Write a Sizzling Synopsis: A Step-by-Step System for Enticing New Readers, Selling More Fiction, and Making Your Books Sound Good by Bryan Cohen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I should point out that this is a book about writing blurbs to go on the back of the book, not the synopsis that you send to a publisher/ agent.

I’d heard of Bryan Cohen and his ninja copywriting skills, so I thought I’d buy his book and see what I could learn. This book is clearly and concisely written (as you’d expect) and gives you a nice step by step guide to the art and craft of writing a book blurb.
I’ve tried to put these techniques into practice. It’s hard to do, but having some guidance helps, especially when you get to the ‘Okay, I’ve done a decent draft, now how do I make it better’ stage.

I’d recommend this book to self publishers who have to write their own back cover copy.

View all my reviews 

Buy link Amazon US:How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis: A Step-by-Step System for Enticing New Readers, Selling More Fiction, and Making Your Books Sound Good

Buy link Amazon UK: How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis: A Step-by-Step System for Enticing New Readers, Selling More Fiction, and Making Your Books Sound Good

Goodreads Book Review: 25 Ways to Sell More Romance Kindle Books

25 ways to sell more romance kindle books: use these 25 advanced tactics to become a bestselling author on amazon25 ways to sell more romance kindle books: use these 25 advanced tactics to become a bestselling author on amazon by Nina Harrington

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this book very useful. There are some very well thought out tips and the analysis of the best seller lists (it’s not rocket science, but it does take time to think it all through) is very interesting. It’s aimed at indie publishers who have complete control over their books, but it would be useful for trad/small press authors too – especially if you’re just starting out.

View all my reviews