Reading without limits, the perfect plan for #stayhome
Add this book to bookshelf
Write a new comment Default profile 50px
Read online the first chapters of this book!
All characters reduced
Before and After the Book Deal - A Writer’s Guide to Finishing Publishing Promoting and Surviving Your First Book - cover

Before and After the Book Deal - A Writer’s Guide to Finishing Publishing Promoting and Surviving Your First Book

Courtney Maum

Publisher: Catapult

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0


There are countless books on the market about how to write better but very few books on how to break into the marketplace with your first book. Cutting through the noise (and very mixed advice) online, while both dispelling rumors and remaining positive, Courtney Maum's Before and After the Book Deal is a one-of-a-kind resource not seen since Betsy Lerner's The Forest for the Trees and Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry’s The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published
Everything an aspiring author or curious reader has ever wanted to know about publishing but was too afraid to ask in a funny, candid guide by acclaimed author Courtney Maum (Touch, I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You) 
Featuring advice and intimate anecdotes from over 150 contributors, including bestselling authors Anthony Doerr, Roxane Gay, Lisa Ko, Garth Greenwell, Nathan Hill, R. O. Kwon, and many more, plus agents, film scouts, film producers, translators, disability and minority activists, and power agents and editors 
 Shot through with humor and heart, with sections ranging from "Am I writing the wrong book?" to “Reining in your ego,” to “What if I die before my book comes out?,” this book is a personal, realistic, and wonderfully voyeuristic guide through the publishing process, from starting the manuscript to publication day to book tour and on to the sophomore project and beyond
 In 2015, Courtney Maum published an article in BuzzFeed titled “Why Being a Debut Author Isn't Exactly a Dream Come True” that struck a nerve and received a huge response, inspiring her to write this book
Perfect for aspiring and debut authors, as well as MFA program directors and faculty, agents, scouts, and supportive family and friends of writers, the book is broken into two sections:

BEFORE THE BOOK DEAL: Part One: “Getting It Right” (including advice on goals, voice, sensitivity readers, to MFA or not to MFA); Part Two: “Getting It Out There” (including how and where to submit/pitch, rejections and perseverance, editor etiquette, and weighing whether to self-publish); Part Three: “Getting Paid” (including financial planning, teaching, and earning a living—or not); Part Four: “Getting It Represented” (including a robust FAQ on agents and all aspects of the agented process); Part Five: "Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About Advances"
AFTER THE BOOK DEAL: Part One: "Pre-publication" (including contracts, developmental edits, your book’s team, blurbs, covers, preorders, and more); Part Two: "PUBLICATION! (- [email protected]#$%^&*¡:o)" (including managing expectations, how to cope with reviews, sales, subsidiary rights, when current events eclipse your book, and more); Part Three: "When the Show Goes on the Road" (including book tours, burnout, and media preparedness); Part Four: “Post-publication (Or, Life After Your Debut)”: (getting back to work, the academic market, speakers agents, sustaining a literary community); Part Five: Advice from Authors and Publishing Professionals  

Catapult, in addition to publishing award-winning books, runs a robust and acclaimed writing classes program. With classes both in New York City and online, including a yearlong novel generator and opportunities for fiction writers, poets, playwrights, essayists, and more, Catapult has quickly become known as a serious alternative to the MFA program, as well as an important community for working writers after they finish their MFAs. And with Catapult having already published books like Peter Orner's Am I Alone Here?, Jane Alison's Meander, Spiral, Explode, and the PEN America Best Debut Short Stories annual anthology, Catapult continues to demonstrate a commitment to publishing books for writers at every stage of their careers and has a built-in audience of tens of thousands of students to market to.

Bookseller Praise for Before and After the Book Deal

"This book will save you hours of googling and hundreds of dollars on industry magazine subscriptions. Though some of Courtney Maum's advice is invaluable, what's even more impressive is her attention to the minutiae of the book deal that is difficult to find: How long should I wait to follow up on an email? What's the deal with book advances (and can I live off mine)? How do I maintain my sanity while on book tour? Who should I thank in my acknowledgments page? Should I be nice to booksellers? (The answer is yes.) Maum lunges straight for taboo subjects (money, dropping your agent, what to do when you don't like your book cover) and collects best practices from hundreds of top-notch writers, editors, publicists, and agents." —Spencer Ruchti, Harvard Book Store (Cambridge, MA)

"Courtney Maum’s Before and After the Book Deal may be the most practical book about writing I’ve read. Sure, Maum talks about inspiration and how to find an agent. But have you ever seen a writing book talk about what to do at conferences if you don’t drink? Maum sensitively and comprehensively explains the bookmaking process down to the most granular detail, with help from dozens of her writer friends. But reading the book is no slog. It works as a reference book to dip into as needed, yes, but Maum’s sharp and funny voice makes Before and After the Book Deal enjoyable enough to read straight through." —Danny Caine, The Raven Book Store (Lawrence, KS)

"I'm not a writer and it's definitely written for writers, but I thought the humorous but real tone was great and made it a fast read for containing so much information. Also liked how it wasn't just the author's perspective but sourced from multiple writers." —Mimi Hannan, La Playa Books (San Diego, CA)

"This is a guide for writers who are really writing (see the After the Book Deal part). Very nuts-and-bolts practical advice about agents and contracts and hating your cover, etc. Which assumes an extraordinary degree of success for any writer, but why not! If you're really in the weeds of looking for an agent, or dealing with a publisher, this would be super handy. And if you're just starting out, this will help you along the way with both the writing and the visualization of publication!" —Kate Jacobs, Little City Books (Hoboken, NJ)

"What a great resource to have for aspiring writers; everything about publishing explained in one place!" —Kate Reynolds, Colgate University Bookstore (Hamilton, NY)

"Before and After the Book Deal nicely fills a gap in the writing craft and theory section. In a light and accessible tone, Courtney Maum shares a terrific collection of advice and anecdotes for navigating the world once your book has been picked up for publication. As a bookseller, it helped me to understand a more complete picture of publishing and the work of being an author. I appreciated Maum's advice on working effectively with bookshops and generally being a decent human while on tour. It was a fun and funny read, packed with helpful tidbits, words of encouragement, and cautionary tales. Great for anyone who walks through bookshops picking out the space on the shelf where their future work will reside." —Meghan Hayden, River Bend Bookshop (Glastonbury, CT)

"As a veteran bookseller and events manager I have often longed for a book such as this one to help newly published writers on their way. Courtney Maum is the candid friend you didn't know you needed, and Before and After the Book Deal is the perfect manual to learn what's 'normal' in the industry, how to know if you are being treated fairly, how to be a good literary citizen, and how to keep going through the often mystifying world of publishing. This should be mandatory reading for each debut author at the time of signing—it's just that good." —E. R. Anderson, Charis Books & More (Decatur, GA)

"Even better than answering the questions a writer is afraid to ask, this book more importantly answers the questions a writer may not know to ask. Filled with examples (both negative and positive), humor, and a lot of commonsense advice, this book covers everything an aspiring writer could need to know: how to work with agents, editors, publishers, advances, social media, book tours, movie/TV rights, depression, failure, and yes, even success." —Keith Glaeske, East City Bookshop (Washington, D.C.)

"Reading Courtney Maum's wonderful Before and After the Book Deal, I'm struck by the experience I bring to it from two camps. First, as a bookseller, in how it advises writers on how best to interact with, well, booksellers. For that alone I would urge every writer, regardless of experience, to read this book. It is confounding to me the lack of common sense many authors bring to their interactions with the very people who will coordinate their events, hand-sell their books, everything. We are a critical resource, and we remember who the writers are that treat with us respectfully (and we talk among ourselves about them too!). Secondly, as a writer with one indie-published book out and now finding myself under contract for a next book, with a dream publisher and much higher stakes, I find many of Maum's discussions with other writers, anecdotes of how things can go awry, and subtle hints and tips to be invaluable. This book is one to keep on the Craft shelf for inspiration and referral over the years to come. What a wonderful addition to that shelf Before and After is!" —Chris La Tray, Fact & Fiction (Missoula, MT)

"I can’t tell you how many times writers who long to get their work out in the world have asked me how to do it. Here, finally, is a book I can recommend without reservations. In Before and After the Book Deal, Courtney Maum covers the whole shebang—from finishing your manuscript to promoting your published book—with candor, insider insight, and a wonderful sense of humor. Her book is as helpful for those who have published as it is for the novice. It’s going straight on my staff picks!" —Michaela Carter, Peregrine Book Company (Prescott, AZ)

"So useful! Courtney Maum is doing a lot of writers quite a service with this book." —Mary Laura Philpott, Parnassus Books (Nashville, TN)

"There are countless craft books and writing guides and publishing how-to manuals out there, but sadly for them, they're not written by Courtney Maum. Her pathos and her sense of humor and her willingness to address the cold, hard facts about the pursuit of writing as a career choice make Before and After the Book Deal an absolutely indispensable resource." —David Gonzalez, Skylight Books (Los Angeles, CA)

"I'll be unpacking the wisdom contained in this book for a long time. Get out the Post-it Notes, folks. Perfect for debut writers and those developing sophomore projects, Before and After the Book Deal is filled with actionable advice on everything from writing groups to MFAs, ARCs, and AWP, submission and rejection to pitching and publication, as well as contracts, budgeting, and much more. Acclaimed author Courtney Maum is here to lay it all out. There are no dumb questions. With advice from some of the finest contemporary writers and writing program founders like Julia Fierro and Tony Tulathimutte (over 150 industry contributors!), Courtney Maum writes with clarity and wit and will teach you not just how to go about putting a book out into the world, but also how to become a better self-advocate, editor, and literary citizen in the process." —Alex Helmintoller, DIESEL, A Bookstore (Santa Monica, CA)

Other books that might interest you

  • Baffled by Love - Stories of the Lasting Impact of Childhood Trauma Inflicted by Loved Ones - cover

    Baffled by Love - Stories of the...

    Laurie Kahn

    • 0
    • 1
    • 0
    For three decades, Laurie Kahn has treated clients who were abused as children—people who were injured by someone whom they believed to be trustworthy, someone who professed to love them. Their abusers—a father, stepfather, priest, coach, babysitter, aunt, neighbor—often were people who inhabited their daily lives.
    Love is why they come to therapy. Love is what they want, and love is what they say is not going well for them. 
    Kahn, too, had to learn to navigate a wilderness in order to find the “good” kind of love after a rocky childhood. In Baffled by Love, she includes strands from her own story, along with those of her clients, creating a narrative full of resonance, meaning, and shared humanity.
    Show book
  • When You Reach Me (Rebecca Stead) - cover

    When You Reach Me (Rebecca Stead)

    Nat Reed

    • 2
    • 63
    • 0
    Enter a strange world of time travel and mystery, all surrounding one girl. Use a variety of activities to help students figure out the mystery of the novel. Predict what will happen with Julia and Miranda's relationship once their conflict comes out in the open. Figure out what book Miranda is reading to Belle based on the clues from the story. Identify the instructions given to Miranda in the second note. Write sentences using vocabulary words found in the reading. Explain who the laughing man is, his purpose, and the steps he took to prepare Miranda for his mission. Explore racial prejudice in the novel through the eyes of Miranda, and write a letter to Jimmy sharing your feelings on the subject. Aligned to your State Standards, additional crossword, word search, comprehension quiz and answer key are also included.
    About the Novel:
    When You Reach Me is a Newbery Medal-winning story about a young girl and her New York City world. Miranda lives in a run-down apartment with her mother in New York City during the 1970s. Propelled by interesting characters, Miranda’s world starts to unravel, as her friend Sal gets punched by a kid on the street for no reason and stops talking to Miranda; her mother’s hidden emergency key is stolen; and a mysterious note arrives claiming to save her friend’s life. In the background is a subplot involving Miranda’s mother’s upcoming appearance on the television show, The $20,000 Pyramid.
    Show book
  • The Breakdown of Higher Education - How It Happened the Damage It Does and What Can Be Done - cover

    The Breakdown of Higher...

    John M. Ellis

    • 1
    • 1
    • 0
    A series of near-riots on campuses aimed at silencing guest speakers has exposed the fact that our universities are no longer devoted to the free exchange of ideas in pursuit of truth. But this hostility to free speech is only a symptom of a deeper problem, writes John Ellis. Having watched the deterioration of academia up close for the past fifty years, Ellis locates the core of the problem in a change in the composition of the faculty during this time, from mildly left-leaning to almost exclusively leftist. He explains how astonishing historical luck led to the success of a plan first devised by a small group of activists to use college campuses to promote radical politics, and why laws and regulations designed to prevent the politicizing of higher education proved insufficient. Ellis shows that political motivation is always destructive of higher learning. Even science and technology departments are not immune. The corruption of universities by radical politics also does wider damage: to primary and secondary education, to race relations, to preparation for the workplace, and to the political and social fabric of the nation. Commonly suggested remedies—new free-speech rules, or enforced right-of-center appointments—will fail because they don’t touch the core problem, a controlling faculty majority of political activists with no real interest in scholarship. This book proposes more drastic and effective reform measures. The first step is for Americans to recognize that vast sums of public money intended for education are being diverted to a political agenda, and to demand that this fraud be stopped.
    Show book
  • Summary of Sapiens - A Brief History of Humankind By Yuval Noah Harari - cover

    Summary of Sapiens - A Brief...

    Book Addict

    • 0
    • 1
    • 0
    Summary of Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind: By Yuval Noah Harari | Book Summary | Book Addict
    From where did the world appear?
    Is the creation story true?
    Why is Man the way he is?
    Were there men, before you and I?
    Would there be other species after you and me?
    Religion & Politics: what is their origin? And why do they rule our world so strongly?
    Oh well! You might be in for a shocker! If you were told today that you come from a lineage of animals, and probably have some apes and chimpanzees as long-lost cousins, what would you think? If you knew that the creation story was just make-believe invented to control your world, what would you say? What if you were told that your species would one day come to an end?
    All of these and many more are the topics explored in “SAPIENS.”
    In the book ”Sapiens”, Yuval Noah Harari discusses all you need to know about who you are and where you come from, and debunks the many myths that have lived with us until now.
    This book contains a comprehensive, well detailed summary and key takeaways of the original book by Yuval Noah Harari. It summarizes the book in detail, to help people effectively understand, articulate and imbibe the original work by Noah. This book is not meant to replace the original book but to serve as a companion to it.
    Contained is an
    Executive Summary of the original book 
    Key Points of each chapter and 
    Brief chapter-by-chapter summaries
    Show book
  • Summary and Analysis of The Stranger Beside Me: The Shocking Inside Story of Serial Killer Ted Bundy - Based on the Book by Ann Rule - cover

    Summary and Analysis of The...

    Worth Books

    • 3
    • 2
    • 0
    So much to read, so little time? This brief overview of The Stranger Beside Me tells you what you need to know—before or after you read Ann Rule’s book. Crafted and edited with care, Worth Books set the standard for quality and give you the tools you need to be a well-informed reader.    This short summary and analysis of The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule includes: Historical contextSection-by-section summariesDetailed timeline of important eventsImportant quotesFascinating triviaSupporting material to enhance your understanding of the original work  About The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule:   Among American serial killers, Ted Bundy is infamous not just for his crimes, but for the way he was able to charm his victims. Bundy’s friendly demeanor fooled many, including Ann Rule, bestselling true crime author and former law enforcement officer.   Rule and Bundy met while working together at a suicide hotline. The two remained friends throughout the period of Bundy’s crimes, trials, and fight against execution. This friendship gives the reader an intimate window into a man countless psychiatrists struggle to explain.   Get to know Ted Bundy, a true sociopath, and learn about his reign of terror in the Pacific Northwest, Florida, and perhaps beyond. Rule’s police background adds compelling perspective to one of the most popular, detailed, and personal books written about Ted Bundy.   The summary and analysis in this ebook are intended to complement your reading experience and bring you closer to a great work of nonfiction.
    Show book
  • The Attica Turkey Shoot - Carnage Cover-Up and the Pursuit of Justice - cover

    The Attica Turkey Shoot -...

    Malcolm Bell

    • 0
    • 1
    • 0
    “Malcolm Bell’s powerful story of the Attica prison uprising . . . has the ring of truth” (Studs Terkel, Pulitzer Prize–winning author and historian).  The Attica Turkey Shoot tells a story that New York State did not want you to know. In 1971, following a prison riot at the Attica Correctional Facility, state police and prison guards slaughtered thirty-nine hostages and inmates, and tortured more than one thousand men after they had surrendered. State officials pretended they could not successfully prosecute the law officers who perpetrated this carnage, and then those same officials scurried for shelter when a prosecutor named Malcolm Bell exposed the cover-up.   Bell traveled a rocky road to a justice of sorts as he sought to prosecute without fear or favor—in spite of the deck officials had stacked to keep police from facing the same justice that had filled the Attica prison in the first place. His insider’s account illuminates the all-too-common contrast between the justice of the privileged and the justice of the rest.   Also included in this book is evidence from recently uncovered tapes that Gov. Nelson Rockefeller knew his order for troopers to attack could cost the lives of hundreds of inmates and all of those hostages. The Attica Turkey Shoot highlights the hypocrisy of a criminal justice system that decides who goes to prison and who enjoys impunity in a nation where no one is said to be above the law.  
    Show book