Most helpful critical review
That book would get a good 3 stars
on September 4, 2015
I've started reading this book, tidbits from different chapters, and I can't wait to finish reading it. Truly. And I can't stand reading nonfiction books. So that's saying something!
After reading this book, I wish that the second half written by the agent, Ann Rittenberg, could be a separate book in and of itself. That book would get a good 3 stars, if not more. But the first half of the book written by Laura Whitcomb was as elementary as a freshman year of high school English class. I am hoping that anyone who is actually thinking enough about writing their first novel so much so that they are reading books about it, are far enough passed what the definition of "dialogue" is or the difference between a "simile" and a "metaphor". I mean, really? Is that necessary for an author. I got more out of my senior year in high school English class than I did from that portion of the novel.
Now I realize that the section about finding an agent by Rittenberg could be just as elementary for those who already know the process, but finding an agent and getting your book published for the first time is not something that is taught to every American with a high school diploma. Therefore, it is very educational. She describes the process in such detail, something as simple as how to find out what the best way to communicate with your agent is, if they prefer email, phone, etc. Now those parts got a little tedious because some of it is simple common sense, but it is also something that I actually found beneficial (even though I know enough to ask a simple question about whether or not they want an email or a phone call) because it is a very good walk through of the beginning of the process of finding an agent all the way to when you book in published and on the shelves of a book store.
My suggestion to anyone who is actually interested in writing a novel, skip to chapter 12 where Rittenberg starts discussing finding an agent. Don't both with the first half unless you really don't know anything about writing...anything.