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Book Review

You Don't have to be Famous: How to Write your Life Story, by Steve Zousmer (Writer's Digest Books)

Book CoverTo some degree, this book marks a rising tide, especially in self-published books. Now that technology has broken the publisher's block on new authors (as it did in music), we turn our attention to writing a memoir.

Author Steve Zousmer brings his own experience as a journalist and a producer of TV news shows and a writer in documentary film.

The book is refreshingly unpretentious, for Zousmer avoids making it his purpose to recruit new writers. Instead, he takes a highly focused approach and simply helps us know how to write an autobiography.

Interestingly, we begin with the most important notion - that we (the autobiographer) are important enough to write about. And, if anyone has received an autobiography from a family ancestor, it is clear to see that a self-written biography is invaluable today as well as in the future.

The book is filled with solid, practical advice, and yet it sometimes sounds like a tech manual - something Writer's Digest commissioned the author to write.  However, regardless of its origins, the book deserves the attention of the many writers who are presently going beyond genealogy and writing their own stories for everyone to read.

Bruce Cook, Ph.D.


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