Monday 25 June 2018

Book Review: The Byline Bible by Susan Shapiro

Title: The Byline Bible
Author: Susan Shapiro
F&W Media

Publication Date: 21 August 2018
eBook - PDF
ARC via NetGalley


Newspaper, magazine, and web editors are desperate for new voices and anyone, in any field, can break in. So why not you?

Over the last two decades, writing professor Susan Shapiro has taught more than 25,000 students of all ages and backgrounds at NYU, Columbia, Temple, The New School, and Harvard University. Now in The Byline Bible she reveals the wildly popular "Instant Gratification Takes Too Long" technique she's perfected, sharing how to land impressive clips to start or re-launch your career.

In frank and funny prose, the bestselling author of 12 books walks you through every stage of crafting and selling short nonfiction pieces. She shows you how to spot trendy subjects, where to start, finish and edit, and divulges specific steps to submit work, have it accepted, get paid, and see your byline in your favorite publication in lightning speed.

With a foreword by Peter Catapano, long-time editor at the New York Times where many of Shapiro's pupils have first seen print, this book offers everything you need to learn to write and sell your story in five weeks or less, including: How to craft a cover letter and subject heading to get read and reviewed quickly Who pay for essays, op-eds, regional, humor, or service pieces from unknown writers Ways to follow up, build on your success, land a TV or radio spot, become a regular contributor, staff writer, and find a literary agent for your book with one amazing clip Whether you're just starting out or ready to enhance your professional portfolio, this essential guide will prove that three pages can change your life.

I requested a copy of The Byline Bible because I am always interested in finding new income streams to support my editing work and fiction writing, and I wondered if articles might be the way to go. If anything, this book has made me reconsider that. I personally don't think I have the time to dedicate to all the research etc. needed. However, although it has put me off the idea at present, I do think this is a useful, well-presented book. Shapiro outlined the different stages involved in getting your articles into print, along with some excellent examples for inspiration and guidance. So if you are someone considering a career, or side job, in article writing, I would definitely recommend this book to set you on your way.

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