Yuffiebunny posted on her Facebook not too long ago that Steven Savage, an author and fellow geek, was looking for early reviews on his new book, Focused Fandom: Cosplay, Costuming, and Careers. With the blog, I figured I’d hit him up and check it out, and use the blog to review the book.
Now bear with me, as I am sick and all jumbly with thoughts, but this review is worth your time.
First and foremost, the concept of the whole book is taking your hobby within cosplay/costuming and turning it into a career via exploring all the aspects of the hobby and the edges you now have over others. From there, you can evaluate yourself and your skills, network, and pursue a serious career from your “geekery”. The concept makes total sense, and Steven does have valid points, as cosplayers/costumers do know things that most people do not, thusly giving them certain Edges.
However, this part of the book feels… redundant at times, though not necessarily in a bad way. It felt like areas could be condensed down, such as Connecting Yourself and Being Memorable. Making connections is one way to become memorable, which he does make as a valid point. It just felt like they could have been one section combined, and really drive the concept of connecting and networking home. Attention to Detail and Research felt the same way, as part of researching is paying attention to details. It wasn’t a bad redundancy, as stated, but more of a need for condensation.
From there, it goes into potential careers that a cosplayer/costumer may want to look into. After you read the Edges section and evaluate yourself, you can hit up the Careers section of the book and see what may best suit you. This section was perfect, down to the quotes from cosplayers that have made their hobbies into careers, or are currently seeking to do so.
The next section is To Do’s, which then goes into what all you need to do to pursue the career you may want. Again, this is an area that could be condensed because of redundancy, especially anything and everything related to networking. I am all for one big section that drives the point home, instead of smaller sections that are driving the point home still, but now making me ask why it wasn’t with the other areas related as well.
Finally, there is the appendices, which help you formulate plans on how to truly pursue a career with your cosplay/costuming hobby, helps you find places to help you dos so, and also potentially helps you realized if it’s a good idea to pursue or not. Some people are afraid it will no longer be fun, and this is pointed out. I loved that addition, because I have trouble with that myself at times.
Needless to say, Steven did a good job with his objective. The book breaks things down so you can potentially build yourself up and into a fulfilling career. He had good quotes from a variety of people, some of which I hadn’t heard of and looked into during my reading. There are some editing mistakes that need to be addressed, mainly misusing words, fragmentation, and basic spelling errors, but nothing too horribly outstanding.
Overall, I definitely recommend checking out Steven’s book, especially if you’re looking into making this crazy hobby your career. 😀 You can purchase it here for only $5!