mini-review · stuff I read

Before and After the Book Deal: A Writer’s Guide to Finishing, Publishing, Promoting, and Surviving Your First Book by Courtney Maum

46065066Summary from Goodreads:
Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about publishing but were too afraid to ask is right here in this funny, candid guide by acclaimed author Courtney Maum. Before and After the Book Deal: A Writer’s Guide to Finishing, Publishing, Promoting, and Surviving Your First Book has over 150 contributors from all walks of the industry, including international bestselling authors Anthony Doerr, Roxane Gay, Garth Greenwell, Lisa Ko, R. O. Kwon, Rebecca Makkai, and Ottessa Moshfegh, alongside cult favorites Sarah Gerard, Melissa Febos, Mitchell S. Jackson, and Mira Jacob. Agents, film scouts, film producers, translators, disability and minority activists, and power agents and editors also weigh in, offering advice and sharing intimate anecdotes about even the most taboo topics in the industry. Their wisdom will help aspiring authors find a foothold in the publishing world and navigate the challenges of life before and after publication with sanity and grace.

Are MFA programs worth the time and money? How do people actually sit down and finish a novel? Did you get a good advance? What do you do when you feel envious of other writers? And why the heck aren’t your friends saying anything about your book? Covering questions ranging from the logistical to the existential (and everything in between), Before and After the Book Deal is the definitive guide for anyone who has ever wanted to know what it’s really like to be an author.

Before and After the Book Deal is a comprehensive explanation of the publishing process all the way from “so you want to be a writer” to “do I have to publish a second book”. The soup-to-nuts guide to publishing, if you will. Maum includes examples of personal experience and advice from many writers, editors, publicists, and agents to provide a larger scope of advice. This isn’t a book of Rules About Publishing You Must Follow To Get Published Or Else. Some pointers are pretty common-sense reminders, like, don’t be a jerk to other people then expect them to help you. In many instances Maum provides information about points where an author may need to make a decision – MFA or no MFA? Self-publish or traditional publisher? Get an agent or go it alone? To teach or not to teach? – without saying one choice is right or better than an other because it all depends on what an author wants from their career.

A good read, too, for anyone who just wants to know more about the process from a writer’s perspective. Plus, Maum is pretty funny.

Before and After the Book Deal is out today, January 7!

Dear FTC: Thanks to Catapult for the galley – I had requested the digital galley on Edelweiss and then a paper copy magically showed up at the store for me from Jen Kovitz. ❤

One thought on “Before and After the Book Deal: A Writer’s Guide to Finishing, Publishing, Promoting, and Surviving Your First Book by Courtney Maum

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