20th Annual Writer’s Digest Annual Self-Published Book Awards
Entry Title: Playing With Fire
Author: Tom Lyford
Judge Number: 71
Books were evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5. This scale is strictly to provide a point of reference, it is not a cumulative score and does not reflect ranking.
Structure and Organization: 5
Production Quality and Cover Design: 3
Plot (if applicable):
Character Development (if applicable):
What did you like best about this book?
Playing With Fire is a childhood memoir that employs an outstanding use of self-deprecating and well-written humor. The author takes readers on a ride through coming-of-age tales that begin in 1957. True to the style of a memoir, the book is written with more show than tell, drawing the reader into the everyday life of the storyteller. The voice is true to the genre as is the trim size. The use of inner dialogue is excellent; readers will have no problem immediately relating to the inner thoughts that are heavily sprinkled through the book. This book would be of particular interest to men who grew up in this time period as they will surely relate with the adolescent issues of sex, girls, and the panic associated with parental overseeing! Congratulations on a job well done!
How can the author improve this book?
Should a second edition be printed, it is recommended that the author use a professional designer for the front and back covers as well as the interior copy. The book has such a realistic and funny tone that the cover image fades in comparison; unlike the moth being drawn to the flame in the front cover image, the reader is not drawn into the book based on this image. Overall, the covers give this book a self-published rather than the professional and polished look that it deserves. Interior design has ultra-wide margins, making for a narrow reading column. An interior designer would bring this booklet's look up to a professional level.