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Starve Better offers practical advice for making a living as a writer. In Apex Publications' survival guide, Nick Mamatas touches on both craft and business.
Starve Better makes no promises of making you a bestselling author. It won't feed aspiring writers' dreams of fame and fortune. This book is about survival: how to generate ideas when you needed them yesterday, dialogue and plot on the quick, and what your manuscript is up against in the slush piles of the world. For non-fiction writers, Starve Better offers writing techniques such as how to get (relatively) high-paying assignments in second and third-tier magazines, how to react to your first commissioned assignment, and how to find gigs that pay NOW as the final notices pile up and the mice eat the last of the pasta in the cupboard.
Humor, essays, and some of the most widely read blog pieces from Nick Mamatas, author and editor of fiction that has caught the attention of speculative fiction's most prestigious awards, come together for the first time in a writers' guide that won't teach anyone how to get rich and famous... but it will impart the most valuable skill in the business: how to starve better.
"Mamatas offers up a no-nonsense guide that should be required reading for all writers. Prepare to have some illusions shattered… because you need them shattered. A great resource from a guy with the experience to back up the advice."
—Jeff VanderMeer, author of City of Saints and Madmen and Finch
"Culled from blog posts and various articles published online and in print, Mamatas offers no surefire formulas, no proven templates and nothing close to a guarantee of success. Instead, he offers insights and instructions for earning something of a living through writing fiction and nonfiction, while establishing your writing cred with editors and publishers.
—Bookgasm, Alan Cranis
"... I don’t think there’s anything quite like it on the market. In part, I think this is because I don’t think anyone looks at the business and art of writing (or articulates those views) quite like Mamatas."
—Rocket Kapre, Paolo Chikiamco
"While some aspiring scribes may be scared off by the author's realistic look at what a writer's life entails, others will find encouragement, challenge, and potent advice on how, at least, to "starve better." One comes away from reading this book convinced that, as Mamatas wrote in a pre-recession, 2005 essay, '… if you could not make a living as a freelancer it is because your standards were too high, both for what counted as writing and what counted as living.'"
—ForeWord Reviews, Kristine Morris
Nick Mamatas is the author of three-and-a-half novels, more than seventy short stories, and hundreds of feature articles, and is also an editor and anthologist. His fiction has been nominated for the Bram Stoker and International Horror Guild awards and translated into German, Italian, and Greek; his editorial work with Clarkesworld earned the magazine World Fantasy and Hugo award nominations. Nick's reportage, short stories, and essays have appeared in venues such as Razor, Asimov's Science Fiction, Silicon Alley Reporter, the Village Voice, The Smart Set, The Writer, Poets & Writers and anthologies including Supernatural Noir and Lovecraft Unbound. He teaches at Western Connecticut State University in the MFA program in Creative and Professional Writing, was a visiting writer at Lake Forest College and the University of California, Riverside's Palm Desert Campus, and runs writing classes in the San Francisco Bay Area.