There are thousands of books for writers and would-be writers. Some of them are even useful. But a lot more people make a living writing Howtorite books than make a living as a result of them. The 'How To Make A Million With Your Pen In Four Easy Lessons' guide is part of a huge, rich, somewhat distasteful industry, based on two well-known facts about human nature:
1. Everyone who can write a shopping list thinks they could write a book
Mat Coward's Success ... And How To Avoid It is different. Combining humour with practical information, and based firmly on hard-won personal knowledge, it's a tonic, an antidote, a survival kit for every writer who is fed up with being told how easy it is to write yourself a fortune.
First of all, it's a good read. Ironic, funny, anecdotal, hyperbolic but always remembering that there is a body of information and advice which, combined with talent, hard work and enormous amounts of luck, might just make the difference to aspiring writers.
Other writers' books say "You can do it, if only you believe in yourself and follow these simple rules." This book says "You might do it, but you should know from the start that there really is, as you have always suspected, an intergalactic conspiracy of space-vampires, Freemasons and commissioning editors dedicated to keeping you in your place. Still, if you are determined to embark on this foolish quest, you'd better read this first." If Ford Prefect wrote a writers' book, this is the one he'd write.
Success ... And How To Avoid It at last, a hip writers' book which doesn't insult its readers' intelligence. For the first time, a writers' book written by a writer, which would-be writers won't be embarrassed to be seen reading.
With cartoons by Rob Kirbyson.