How to Be a Writer in the E-Age… And Keep Your E-Sanity!
By Catherine Ryan Hyde and Anne R. Allen
File Size: 487 KB
Print Length: 296 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: MWiDP (Mark Williams international Digital Publishing (June 24, 2012)
Language: English

Many of us brave forth into the e-wilderness seeking out our path to success, armed with the dream of becoming a Real Writer or a Bestselling Author.

However, this age of (mis)information overwhelms and dismays us. A month ago I vowed to “build my platform” and I got swallowed up in the sea of social media and virtual marketing, abandoning my writing “for now” until I was a little more organized. (I didn’t see that day in my foreseeable future.)

Then I found How to be a Writer in the E-Age… And Keep Your E-Sanity, which is aptly titled. This comprehensive, humorous and down-to-earth guidebook covers our ever-changing industry, our growing choices, and lays down what we can expect at the end of our road so we plan our travels well.

Catherine Ryan Hyde and Anne R. Allen have unique but complementary voices; they could well be two good friends who decided over tea that they could become e-mentors to thousands if they joined forces. Their prose is easy to read, warm, worldly, honest. They weave an environment akin to one of those European dinner parties where friends and strangers come together to eat, laugh, argue, cry, and  share epiphanies over wine—instantly we are welcomed into their fold, and serious subjects (encompassing our dreams and livelihoods) become fun.

The humor, on rare occasions, may be considered “not funny”, but in the whole this is a tender offering from both authors, who truly wish for the success of all writers everywhere. How could this be anything but a labor of love when they have not only put together such a cornucopia of knowledge but then gift their readers free updates every six months to ensure that their “e-protégés” can keep up with the times? As writers, we can appreciate how much work goes into an endeavor of this magnitude, and the genuine care that Ms. Ryan Hyde and Ms. Allen have for their fellow writers shines in their book. I frequently laughed out loud and sighed with relief. When I finished I had recovered my center, de-stressed about the myriad of things I had to do before I could “make it” as a writer.

How to be a Writer in the E-Age… And Keep Your E-Sanity will be a comfort to the “new kids on the block”; a guiding force for those authors fording the whitewater rapids of social media and (mis)information; and it will revitalize those “Real Writers” who may have discovered that success, in modern terms, wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. The conclusion to the book reminds us that we are the only ones who can define success in a way that is meaningful. By playing with the tools the authors have shared, we can start paving the road to realizing our dreams, on our own terms.

Reviewed by Joanna Celeste (
January 2013

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