"Jeff VanderMeer is a three-time winner, thirteen-time finalist for the World Fantasy Award. His Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction, the world's first full-color, image-based writing guide, is now out from Abrams Image. His Southern Reach trilogy (Annihilation, Authority, Acceptance) will be published by FSG, HarperCollins Canada, and The Fourth Estate (UK) in 2014, as well as 12 other countries. The film rights have been optioned by Scott Rudin Productions and Paramount Pictures. Prior novels include the Ambergris Cycle (City of Saints & Madmen, Shriek: An Afterword, and Finch) and Veniss Underground. His short fiction has appeared in American Fantastic Tales (Library of America), Conjunctions, and many others. He writes nonfiction for The Washington Post, the LA Times, The Guardian, and many others. He has lectured at MIT and the Library of Congress and helps run the Shared Worlds teen SF/Fantasy writing camp out of Wofford College. With his wife Ann he has coedited several iconic anthologies, most recently The Time Traveler's Almanac and The Weird."

Booklife by Jeff VanderMeer

Bestselling and award-winning author, editor, and Web-entrepreneur Jeff VanderMeer (Annihilation, Borne, Dead Astronauts ) shares his twenty-five years of experience to reveal how the world has changed, and with it the craft of writing. Authors must now contend with a slew of new media. This has forever altered the relationship between writers and their readers, their publishers, and their work. In an era when authors are expected to do more and more to promote their own work, Booklife steers readers through the bewildering options while helping to maintain energy for the creative process.



  • "Booklife is an ambitious and successful attempt at a comprehensive guide to maintaining your sanity while chasing your dreams."

    РCory Doctorow, Boing Boing
  • "Absolutely invaluable…a guide to the 21st century for a writer more up to date and accurate than any other book I've seen on the market."

    – Tor.com
  • "If you're at all interested in writing, especially an eventual career in writing (which nowadays requires considerable skill in self-management and strategic use of promotional tools), Booklife should be on your bookshelf."

    РBrad Moon, Wired



Are You Ready to Embrace a Booklife?

The world has changed, and with it the writing life. In addition to the traditional difficulties of putting pen to paper, writers must now consider and internalize a slew of "new media" opportunities — blogs, social networks, mini-feeds, and podcasts, to name just a few. This has forever altered the relationship between writers and their readers, their publishers, and their work.

Booklife will provide you with the strategic and tactical intel to thrive in this new environment. It will help you reach your full potential in both your writing goals and your career goals. Whether you're a beginning, intermediate, or advanced fiction writer, self-published, published in the independent press, or by large New York commercial conglomerates, this book will be of value to you. Nonfiction writers will also find much of use within these pages. All you need to bring to Booklife is your own curiosity, openness to new ideas, willingness to work hard, and, of course, a passion for writing.

In addition to helping you become more productive, focused, and savvy, Booklife should serve to reduce or remove sources of stress and fragmentation. You can balance writing and promotion, interact with the readers using new technologies and keep enough private space to be fulfilled in your creative life. No shortcuts can replace perseverance and hard work, but Booklife can significantly reduce your learning curve and give you new, energizing strategies.

I've used the metaphor of a "book life" because I believe in visualization to achieve goals. In addition to the traditional paper-pulp-glue versions, a "book" in the context of Booklife can be any creative project that requires text, including podcasts, e-books, and short stories posted online. Anything can contribute to your Booklife in a positive and lasting way, from a series of blog posts to a short YouTube video adaptation of your novel. The term "book" is just the most potent, most concrete anchor a writer can visualize as the end result of his or her labor.

I've tried hard to be honest in writing this book. In support of that goal you won't find slick slogans, seven steps to success, or other facile ways of expressing ideas in Booklife. For this reason, too, you'll find humor and personal anecdotes where applicable. I've been in this business for over twenty years and I've tried to put that experience to work for you in ways that are helpful rather than insular. Booklife is also infused with the spirit of a love for writing and of community. I'm optimistic about the future of the written word, in whatever form it may take, and Booklife is a reflection of that optimism.

Now, this is the point at which some writing books would end with a sentence like "You can change the way you think about your creative life and career, today, this very moment." And you'd either be there with me or you'd be calling bull-pucky. The truth is, you can change your approach and your mindset, but nothing worth doing well is easy. Everything requires work. The good news? Hard work can be its own reward. By the time you finish implementing the strategies and tactics set out in Booklife, you will know you've earned your success.