The Business of Being a Writer

The Business of Being a Writer

My newest book, published by The University of Chicago Press, offers the business education writers need but so rarely receive. It is meant for early-career writers looking to develop a realistic set of expectations about making money from their work or for working writers who want a better understanding of the industry. My hope is that this becomes a classroom text in creative writing programs.

A comprehensive and eminently readable guide that should be on every writer’s desk. … Destined to become a staple reference book for writers and those interested in publishing careers.

Publishers Weekly

An invaluable compendium of practical advice with encouragement for aspiring and seasoned writers alike.

Library Journal, starred review

Publishing 101

Publishing 101: A First-Time Author’s Guide

This is a guide I released in 2014 that compiled the best information available at my blog (here at However, it has not been updated in nearly 10 years and is now out of print.

What Editors Do Ginna

What Editors Do

I’m a contributor to this collection, in which Peter Ginna gathers essays from twenty-seven leading figures in book publishing about their work. Representing both large houses and small, and encompassing trade, textbook, academic, and children’s publishing, this book makes the case for why editing remains a vital function to writers—and readers—everywhere.

Author in Progress

Author in Progress

I’m a contributor to this essay collection from Writer’s Digest Books, which is perfect no-nonsense guide for excelling at every step of the novel-writing process, from setting goals, researching, and drafting to giving and receiving critiques, polishing prose, and seeking publication.

Every Father's Daughter

Every Father’s Daughter: 24 Women Writers Remember Their Fathers

I’m a contributor to this anthology, which includes well-known writers such as Alice Munro, Jayne Anne Phillips, Alexandra Styron, Ann Hood, Bobbie Ann Mason, Maxine Hong Kingston, among others. Without shying away from the painful parts of life, this anthology celebrates the role of fathers in their daughters’ lives. Edited by Margaret McMullan; introduction by Phillip Lopate.

The Little Magazine in Contemporary America

The Little Magazine in Contemporary America

I’m a contributor to this collection, in which Ian Morris and Joanne Diaz gather the reflections of 23 prominent editors whose little magazines have flourished over the past 35 years. Topics include the role of little magazines in promoting the work and concerns of minority and women writers, the place of universities in supporting and shaping little magazines, and the online and offline future of these publications.

Literary Publishing in the 21st Century

I’m a contributor to this anthology, which reflects on the current situation of literary publishing, and provides a road map for the shifting geography of its future: How do editors and publishers adapt to this rapidly changing world? How are vibrant public communities in the Digital Age created and engaged? How can an industry traditionally dominated by white men become more diverse and inclusive?

Drinking Diaries

Drinking Diaries

I’m a contributor to this anthology on the candid look at the pleasures and pains of drinking, and the many ways in which it touches women’s lives.

The Future of Publishing: Enigma Variations

The Future of Publishing: Enigma Variations

I enjoy discussing and writing about the future of publishing, particularly how the environment is changing for authors. While I’ve been invited to major events to offer insights on the topic, including Frankfurt Book Fair and LitFlow Berlin, I don’t take it all very seriously. Or, that is to say: I am sincere in offering ideas and arguments, but it is a manner of play and exploration. This (free) book reflects my very not-serious side on this issue.

Beginning Writer's Answer Book

Beginning Writer’s Answer Book

This is my very first book, released in 2006, before publishing was dramatically disrupted by Amazon Kindle, ebooks, the iPhone and iPad, and basically all digital media. Some of this guide is now out of date, but it still offers some timeless principles on all aspects of the writing and publishing industry, whether you’re interested in fiction, nonfiction, books, magazines, poetry, etc. It covers a bit of everything. However, if you’re looking to learn the ropes of book publishing, see Publishing 101.