A New Satire about Self-Help and Self-Promoting Gurus
By: Joel Cunningham
"I loved the idea of selling an intentionally, audaciously, ridiculous 'self-help' book that would provide a satire of the giant industry that is self-help," said Cunningham.
Keys to Success is a comical send-up of business books that promise success to hard-working, systems-thinking executives. Wally, the fictional author of this self-help guide, is a cynic, a drunk, and a freewheeling con man, and he is not ashamed to confide that he is writing the book purely for self-promotion. He details, from his own experiences, how to avoid work, to cheat, lie, and steal—these are "the keys to success." His guidance for his readers is hilarious and yet oddly astute.
The plot of the book is driven by Wally's all-out war with his editor, who is horrified at the book's content and who brutally marks up Wally's drafts. Steve, the editor, represents all the conventional business practices Wally rejects. The self-help book itself is their battleground, and Wally's replies to his editor's critiques are filled with a gleeful malice that is anything but professional. The conflict escalates into their personal lives, creating hilarious scenarios involving excessive drinking, creative name-calling, and corporate backstabbing. In the end, Steve hurriedly publishes the notated draft version of the book, and that's the book we get—deeply flawed, it's a record of a book project gone wrong, wrong, wrong. Wally does get the last word, in a heroic last-minute break-in to alter the book at the printer's press.
This book will resonate with fans of Carl Hiaasen and Christopher Buckley, who also portray the absurdity of a corrupt world. Keys to Success from a Completely Unsuccessful Person skewers the publishing industry and its formulaic process of "shaping" books that sell. They will laugh out loud at the "wisdom" of Wally. He is a self-styled guru, who despite his contempt for the "standard-think,"
Keys to Success from a Completely Unsuccessful Person is the first book in the series. Volume II will be released in the late summer of 2018.
About the Author
Born on the East Coast but raised in the Southwest, Joel is the co-owner, co-founder of Parametric Studios, LLC - a marketing company based in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Joel has worked in marketing for the last fifteen years with while writing and pursuing numerous other side ventures. He has acted in numerous commercial projects, produced and written for many TV and film projects, and is the current host of a film and television review podcast called The Reel Review Podcast.
Publisher: Joel C. Cunningham
Publication Date:December 15, 2017
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Paperback edition: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com
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