How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead by Ariel Gore

goreDear authors waiting for publishers to finally get back to you with bad news, poets tired of pasting rejection letters on your bathroom wall, and novelists hiding in basements while clutching your manuscript for dear life, Ariel Gore has something to say to you: If you want to become a famous, successful author before you die, you need to get off your butts and do it yourself. Publish your own book, write and send out your own zines, and have some faith in your ability, for goodness sake. In her wonderful and sassy book, How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead: Your Words in Print and Your Name in Lights, Ariel Gore sets the tone for underground, DIY marketing and publishing for writers at any level.

From start to finish, How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead is filled with wit and sass as Gore convinces readers to take their future into their own hands. Once you start reading, it will become clear that this book is an amazing resource for aspiring and established authors alike. With just under 300 pages, it’s chalk full of interviews from well-known authors, writing exercises, and practical advice on how to get your writing out into the world, once and for all.

Ariel Gore uses each chapter to focus on different aspects of writing, editing, and convincing writers that they are more than capable of crafting their work into a tangible book. As a fellow DIY, independent author and publisher herself, Gore gives readers hope that if they just break down the seemingly monumental task of writing a book (and everything that comes along with it, like editing, publishing, marketing, etc.) into small steps, they can publish their work in no time. Gore emphasizes to readers that you don’t have to be a ‘somebody’ or have connections with a fancy publishing house to create meaningful work. You just have to have talent, heart, and a whole lot of grit.

The biggest takeaway from How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead is that if you truly want to become a famous writer, you have to rely on your own hard work and ingenuity. You have to write, as often and as meaningfully as you can, and then you have to get that writing out into the world by any means necessary. Go to poetry readings, host local reading parties, schedule book launch events, contact book sellers, and anything you can to make sure your work has a fighting chance in the world.

I can honestly say that this book is a great resource for up-and-coming authors, and as a fellow writer myself, I’ve already started using Gore’s writing exercises and tried to follow her sage-like advice. This book stresses the value of self-promotion, having fun, and putting yourself and your work out on the line. As a writer, a reader, and a book reviewer, I think this book is amazing. Enjoy reading!

(Book review written by Christina Butcher)

Check out Ariel Gore’s website for more information on her books and workshops

3 thoughts on “How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead by Ariel Gore

  1. I do like the book’s message, but how come her fiction books have such average sales rankings? Does she talk about pricing in her book? From a quick look, seems that all her books are quite pricey…

    1. i’m not sure how her sales are, but i know that she has a huge underground following because she’s a single parent AND an author, two incredibly time-consuming, thankless jobs, lol. I think it’s important to take into account sales on other platforms, as well, like selling books at events, from other bookstores, etc.
      I think her books are priced pretty fairly, too, but perhaps i’m biased because i’m always willing to pay for a few bucks more for a book if the author’s done so much of the marketing, editing, and/or publishing on their own.

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