Make A Nerdy Living: How To Turn Your Passions Into Profit, With Advice From Nerds Around The Globe, by Alex Langley
In reading this book I wondered if I was the right kind of nerd. To be sure, I have engaged in some of the activities discussed in this book (like blogging and writing longer form writing), but at the same time this author seems to make assumptions about the sort of nerd that would appreciate that and I must admit that I am not the sort of nerd who likes to go to conventions or is possessed of a great deal of visual art ability or is a particularly crafty person. Perhaps the author is casting a wide net in order to achieve the highest degree of possible readers, but it is probably also the case that the author is somewhat confused about the difference between geeky livings (about which this book will surely help one out with) and nerdy livings (which is only partly true, as there are many kinds of nerds, not all of whom happen to be anime or comic book or gaming nerds). Even if I did not fully relate to this book, there was a lot about the book I enjoyed and there are a great many people who will like this book and get a lot more out of it than I did.
This book is a short one at almost 250 pages, many of them gorgeously illustrated. The author begins with a discussion about the life that the reader is (presumably) living. After that there are nine chapters that detail various livings that one can make as a nerd: blogging (1), making videos (2), cosplay (3), crafting (4), gaming (5), bringing nerdiness to conventional careers (6), podcasting (7), art and comics (8), and writing books (9). Throughout the book the chapters are filled with advice from various nerds, some of whom I tend to follow myself on YouTube or other social media platforms. In general the advice given has a high degree of professionalism involved, and a realistic appraisal of the difficulties involved as well as the need to be both flexible in one’s approach to gaining attention, aware of multiple cash streams in order to help one’s nerdiness pay, and cognizant of the high degree of complexity that can be involved in seeking to differentiate oneself from others or find a clear enough niche for oneself. The author has certainly made nerdiness pay for him, though.
What one gets out of a book like this depends in large part of what one wants to or is able to put into this book and its suggestions. The author makes it pretty clear that in order to make money as a nerd it pays to have money already. Most of the ways the author shows of making money require either a heavy time commitment and/or a heavy money commitment in paying for artwork, technology, editing, and other services. That said, the author is also keen on reminding nerds, especially those of us who feel somewhat isolated like I do, that we are all in this together. As a book reviewer, I am definitely someone who nerds that right book or who make products (like games) that I would also review would want to know because my nerdiness can help their own. When it becomes easier for nerds to work together and share their own passions and interests and talents, it becomes easier for other nerds to have good examples of what best practices to use. Clearly, this author has built up a good network of fellow nerds, and many of the people he talks to have done similarly well, and that is something to celebrate.