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The highly anticipated novel The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach, has just been published. But what is the riveting story behind the story—and what does it take to make a bestseller these days? As author and n+1 co-founder Keith Gessen reveals in this 17,000-word e-book (expanded from the article appearing in the October issue of Vanity Fair), the passage from MFA classro The highly anticipated novel The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach, has just been published. But what is the riveting story behind the story—and what does it take to make a bestseller these days? As author and n+1 co-founder Keith Gessen reveals in this 17,000-word e-book (expanded from the article appearing in the October issue of Vanity Fair), the passage from MFA classroom to national book tour is its own treacherous, absorbing—and wildly unpredictable—adventure. Harbach, Gessen’s friend and colleague, was a struggling writer who toiled relentlessly for ten years on The Art of Fielding, before it eventually hauled in a $650,000 advance. At each step of the way several vivid characters fought tooth and nail to ensure the book’s survival, including Chris Parris-Lamb, Harbach’s passionate young agent; Michael Pietsch, a renowned editor at the publishing house Little, Brown; and Keith Hayes, the book’s tireless designer. In this e-book of sweeping scope and fascinating, behind-the-scenes detail, Gessen pulls back the curtain on the insular, fiercely political, and cutthroat literary world of Manhattan—a place where the “Big Six” publishing houses, owned by multinational conglomerates, reign supreme, while smaller houses are left to fend for themselves. Gessen exposes the modern-day book business for what it is: a largely uncertain enterprise—but rife with courageous, enthusiastic individuals—struggling to redefine itself in the face of its own digital revolution.


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The highly anticipated novel The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach, has just been published. But what is the riveting story behind the story—and what does it take to make a bestseller these days? As author and n+1 co-founder Keith Gessen reveals in this 17,000-word e-book (expanded from the article appearing in the October issue of Vanity Fair), the passage from MFA classro The highly anticipated novel The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach, has just been published. But what is the riveting story behind the story—and what does it take to make a bestseller these days? As author and n+1 co-founder Keith Gessen reveals in this 17,000-word e-book (expanded from the article appearing in the October issue of Vanity Fair), the passage from MFA classroom to national book tour is its own treacherous, absorbing—and wildly unpredictable—adventure. Harbach, Gessen’s friend and colleague, was a struggling writer who toiled relentlessly for ten years on The Art of Fielding, before it eventually hauled in a $650,000 advance. At each step of the way several vivid characters fought tooth and nail to ensure the book’s survival, including Chris Parris-Lamb, Harbach’s passionate young agent; Michael Pietsch, a renowned editor at the publishing house Little, Brown; and Keith Hayes, the book’s tireless designer. In this e-book of sweeping scope and fascinating, behind-the-scenes detail, Gessen pulls back the curtain on the insular, fiercely political, and cutthroat literary world of Manhattan—a place where the “Big Six” publishing houses, owned by multinational conglomerates, reign supreme, while smaller houses are left to fend for themselves. Gessen exposes the modern-day book business for what it is: a largely uncertain enterprise—but rife with courageous, enthusiastic individuals—struggling to redefine itself in the face of its own digital revolution.

30 review for Vanity Fair's How a Book is Born: The Making of The Art of Fielding

  1. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Brown

    This is as good a behind-the-scenes for contemporary publishing as I've read. I'm a Keith Gessen fan. I think he can really turn a phrase, but more importantly for a work like this, he has a brain that can handle the complex web of relationships, connections, and constituencies involved in producing a book like The Art of Fielding. Highly recommended for anyone who wants an entertaining and yet still thorough account of the literary side of publishing. One note: There's so much focus on the mone This is as good a behind-the-scenes for contemporary publishing as I've read. I'm a Keith Gessen fan. I think he can really turn a phrase, but more importantly for a work like this, he has a brain that can handle the complex web of relationships, connections, and constituencies involved in producing a book like The Art of Fielding. Highly recommended for anyone who wants an entertaining and yet still thorough account of the literary side of publishing. One note: There's so much focus on the money The Art of Fielding made, and I would like to recommend that anyone who reads this also read Gessen's excellent "Money" as a kind of antidote. I will be chased off the site for saying this, maybe, but I don't really think $650,000 is that much money -- on a per-hour basis -- for the work that went into the book. That's not to say that the publisher should've paid more, but merely that this does not make Chad Harbach overpaid in any way shape or form. For more on the realities of book advances (even biggish ones), also check out Emily Gould's "More than $1K Worth of Clothes I'll Never Wear Again."

  2. 4 out of 5

    Louise

    Holy moly. It's very rare that I finish a book and feel like I *must* post my 5-star review of it on Goodreads right away, but here I am. First thing's first. Don't let the boring title and cover throw you off. This is a very good case for how a book with a mundane title can still have compelling content. The entire title of the book is "Vanity Fair's How a Book is Born: The Making of The Art of Fielding" but I think it should be "Vanity Fair's How a Book is Born: and How to Write a Book to Get Yo Holy moly. It's very rare that I finish a book and feel like I *must* post my 5-star review of it on Goodreads right away, but here I am. First thing's first. Don't let the boring title and cover throw you off. This is a very good case for how a book with a mundane title can still have compelling content. The entire title of the book is "Vanity Fair's How a Book is Born: The Making of The Art of Fielding" but I think it should be "Vanity Fair's How a Book is Born: and How to Write a Book to Get You to Buy Another Book" Right after I'm done writing this review, I'm off to purchase The Art of Fielding and I don't even understand baseball! Despite working at Goodreads, I was never that interested in the business and politics of traditional book publishing, which is why it took me this long to read this book. Luckily, the book is the perfect length -- short and sweet. It makes for an exciting read, kind of like the way Michael Lewis made the banking industry sound exciting in The Big Short.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Phil Brody

    I read "The Art of Fielding" a few months back and really enjoyed it (you can read my review for that book here also). Last week, a friend told me about "How a Book is Born: The Making of The Art of Fielding" and I immediately picked it up. With my debut novel ("The Holden Age of Hollywood") hitting bookshelves in August, I was very interested in this behind-the-scenes look at how "The Art of Fielding" came to be and how it became a best seller. And the book did not disappoint. I loved it and co I read "The Art of Fielding" a few months back and really enjoyed it (you can read my review for that book here also). Last week, a friend told me about "How a Book is Born: The Making of The Art of Fielding" and I immediately picked it up. With my debut novel ("The Holden Age of Hollywood") hitting bookshelves in August, I was very interested in this behind-the-scenes look at how "The Art of Fielding" came to be and how it became a best seller. And the book did not disappoint. I loved it and could have read another 300 pages -- it was that good. The book is a very thorough look at the journey a book takes -- from writing to re-writing, querying to finding an agent, bidding wars to marketing. And it also explores the amazing changes going on in the industry since the inception of Amazon and the Kindle. I'd recommend it to any and every writer I know as it really does provide a lot of insight into the craft of writing and the uphill battle of getting published. The one thing I'd recommend is to read novel before this tell-all because the latter will make you want to read the former, but the latter also contains many spoilers of the former. You've been warned. Now go get both books!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia Corral

    I thought it was a fascinating look at how books are published, and the present and future states of publishing. They even had me very excited to read the book they were focusing on until I realized that was really the entire purpose of this article... to sell more copies of that book. I still give it 4 stars for being interesting and informative, but I have no intention of getting the book on which it focuses.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    This is going to sound like an odd criticism for a nonfiction work, and maybe I'm just blinded by my appreciation for the novel this extended Vanity Fair article is about (being The Art of Fielding) but this had one of the most infuriating endings of any article I've read this year. At the moment where Gessen could provide some actual insight into the author (who is a friend of his), the fiction editing process (since he lived through it) or the future of publishing, he just throws up his hands. This is going to sound like an odd criticism for a nonfiction work, and maybe I'm just blinded by my appreciation for the novel this extended Vanity Fair article is about (being The Art of Fielding) but this had one of the most infuriating endings of any article I've read this year. At the moment where Gessen could provide some actual insight into the author (who is a friend of his), the fiction editing process (since he lived through it) or the future of publishing, he just throws up his hands. What laziness.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Had to read this for a class at school but overall it was actually a pretty interesting account of a book being published. Sometimes hard to keep track of who everyone was (lots of name dropping), but overall insightful to the roles of different people in publishing including literary agents, editors, publishers, publicists, marketing teams, and sales people. Would recommend to people who are interested in the publishing industry.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brian Ayres

    Great primer on current state of publishing but Gessen is way too close to the author to be taken seriously...Having just finished the novel, I found it to be good but not great. I can understand why so many publishers passed. Regardless of what Gessen and others say it is a baseball novel...a darn good one at that. I am glad it was published after 10 years.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Pat (AZ Realtor) 480-840-7166

    For a $1.99 I couldn't resist. I read this on my Ipad Nook app. It's about how the book, The Art of Fielding was written and produced. I now want to read that book. If you ever wondered about the book publishing business and how ebooks are effecting it, this will be well worth your time. For a $1.99 I couldn't resist. I read this on my Ipad Nook app. It's about how the book, The Art of Fielding was written and produced. I now want to read that book. If you ever wondered about the book publishing business and how ebooks are effecting it, this will be well worth your time.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Thistlewood

    I unambiguously loved THE ART OF FIELDING. I didn't know that Chad Harbach copy-edited for McKinsey. You don't love to see it. Good peek inside the literary world though. I unambiguously loved THE ART OF FIELDING. I didn't know that Chad Harbach copy-edited for McKinsey. You don't love to see it. Good peek inside the literary world though.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    A DIFFERENT ANGLE ON THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY An eye-opening eBook I just finished is How a Book Is Born by Keith Gessen with an introduction by Graydon Carter. It first appeared in shorter form in Vanity Fair magazine and shows how the novel The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach came to be written, agented, sold, published, and turned into a huge hit for Little, Brown. Harbach barely scraped by financially for ten years as he worked on his novel, writing and rewriting. When he finally stopped tinke A DIFFERENT ANGLE ON THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY An eye-opening eBook I just finished is How a Book Is Born by Keith Gessen with an introduction by Graydon Carter. It first appeared in shorter form in Vanity Fair magazine and shows how the novel The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach came to be written, agented, sold, published, and turned into a huge hit for Little, Brown. Harbach barely scraped by financially for ten years as he worked on his novel, writing and rewriting. When he finally stopped tinkering with it, his manuscript was over 600 pages. Although baseball is where the action takes place in the book, he didn’t see it as a baseball novel. It’s a novel of ideas. In Gessen’s book, publishing and self-publishing are examined through the filter of Harbach’s success. If you’re debating whether to go one way or another, you’ll have much to chew on here. It makes clear that indie authors cannot do what big publishers do. However, as Gessen shows with Amazon, there doesn’t have to be a big publisher and distributor standing between the author and reader. The specifics in this fast-read make readers look at the options in publishing in a new way. Harbach was able to interest many agents, but all declined taking him on. Because Harbach and his former roommate Gessen (the author of the piece) worked in the fringe of publishing, they then approached editors directly. One editor suggested self-publishing, saying, “A lot of writers are doing that now. It’s a good way to build a brand.” Harbach sent his book to three more agents who said no before he sent it to 27-year-old agent Chris Parris-Lamb, who was so excited by it, Parris-Lamb thought surely another more seasoned agent would get it first. Parris-Lamb shows what a good agent does and how. Gessen gives a great overview of the last few decades of the publishing industry, showing the rise of Barnes and Noble, which, with over 700 superstores, sold more books than ever and could dictate terms to publishers. Then along came Amazon, which changed things again. Not mentioned here is how Steven Jobs forced Amazon’s hand on how eBooks are sold, creating what’s now known as the “agency model,” and how Amazon fought back with 70% royalties to authors and the new KDP Select program where authors give Amazon exclusivity for 90 days. The book does go into eBooks’ effect on publishing, however. Publishing consultant Mike Shatzkin predicts, “Half the publishers now standing will no longer exist five years from now,” and he says that most libraries will be gone, too. Russ Grandinetti, Amazon’s vice-president of Kindle content, adds, “The only necessary parts of the business are authors and readers. Everybody else has to figure out how to be useful and relevant in connecting to those two groups.” I found it amazing to read that many of Harbach’s writer friends from college, including Gessen, received advances of $150,000 and more as if publishers couldn’t throw out money fast enough. Harbach’s manuscript became caught up in an auction among publishers. The first bid started at $100,000 (this is a first novel, remember, where $5,000 advances are the norm these days) and ended with two bids above $650,000. I won’t agree that the big publishers will die like dinosaurs. The clever among them are already figuring out how to use the same tools independent authors use, such as Twitter, Facebook, and advertising on certain sites. If you go on Goodreads or LibraryThing, you’ll see the big publishers giving out many copies of soon-to-be published books. Big companies have a way of usurping things from the little people. They can also afford advertising in places no indie can go. While there are many people saying that indie publishing is it, what “indie” often does not have is the collaboration that goes on to make something a hit. When a big publisher works, it is unstoppable, and many writers would not mind having an agent as clear and sure as Chris Parris-Lamb. Interesting, too, is the very form of this book, 62-pages and $1.99 on Kindle. It’s the kind of volume that big publishers couldn’t publish as a printed book—too short and not the kind to be a super-hit. EBooks, though, can be short or long, and if a mere five thousand people buy it in a couple of weeks, that’s okay, too, as not a lot of marketing or designing is involved. We’re living in interesting times.

  11. 5 out of 5

    John Jr.

    This essay, expanded from a Vanity Fair article, tells a number of tales: It’s about a friendship over time, that of the author, Keith Gessen, and his friend Chad Harbach, who met as freshman English majors in college. It’s about how Chad worked for years on a novel, his first, which he called The Art of Fielding, while struggling to make ends meet and fend off the calls of collection agencies. It goes into some detail about how he eventually found an agent, who found a publisher, and what went This essay, expanded from a Vanity Fair article, tells a number of tales: It’s about a friendship over time, that of the author, Keith Gessen, and his friend Chad Harbach, who met as freshman English majors in college. It’s about how Chad worked for years on a novel, his first, which he called The Art of Fielding, while struggling to make ends meet and fend off the calls of collection agencies. It goes into some detail about how he eventually found an agent, who found a publisher, and what went into producing and selling the book. And it describes how the book-publishing business works nowadays, to some extent how it used to work, and how it’s changing under the influence of e-books and e-publishing. All this is woven together seamlessly, in a way I found positively exciting when I read it as a copy editor for Vanity Fair while Gessen’s original article was being prepared for publication. The stories it tells are uncommon. As Gessen writes, “the story I’ve been telling of The Art of Fielding is not typical. It’s not typical for an author to spend 10 years on a book, not typical for him to write such a good book even if he does, and, if he does produce a very good book, it’s not typical for publishers to respond the way they did. Little, Brown is not a typical publisher—while it has pretty much eliminated the ‘small’ literary novel from its list and rarely publishes translations, it maintains the literary ethos of a much smaller house—and Michael Pietsch is not a typical editor. Even on the little things, Chad’s experience has been atypical.” It's all the juicier, more thrilling, for being unusual. Besides, in another sense, it’s representative in being exemplary: this is the best of how literary fiction is written and published now.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Sullivan

    An enjoyable and interesting look at modern book publishing, how a book--in this case The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach--is acquired and publicized and marketed, and what the author and publishers do in their collaboration. Though it should be pointed out for you aspiring authors out there, this is not what you should expect if you aspire to write genre. This is the treatment that only a super-special literary novel gets, because they are super special. It's not a full book, of course, but real An enjoyable and interesting look at modern book publishing, how a book--in this case The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach--is acquired and publicized and marketed, and what the author and publishers do in their collaboration. Though it should be pointed out for you aspiring authors out there, this is not what you should expect if you aspire to write genre. This is the treatment that only a super-special literary novel gets, because they are super special. It's not a full book, of course, but really a long feature article. I have to say I didn't appreciate the author's comments about Women Won't Read Baseball Books. Untrue; I have read many myself; I had many years' start on the author, having entered on my studies at Oxford while he was a good little boy working his sampler at home (a reference to another book, by a woman, that is not really a baseball book). Shoeless Joe, The Natural, Ball Four, Moneyball, the list goes on. I've even read that oddment The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop. by Robert Coover (which might, like the book under discussion, also be claimed to be Not Really A Baseball Book). I have downloaded the sample of The Art of Fielding to my Nook, and if I like it will buy and read it, though it's not really a baseball book. I know many women who love baseball and would happily read a baseball book. At Thanksgiving, I showed several titles of baseball books on my Nook to my sister, who wrote down the titles so she could find them. I'm belaboring the point, which is--women do indeed read baseball books. So stop that right now. Don't make me show you my Cluebat; it is no longer metaphorical.

  13. 4 out of 5

    King Wenclas

    This book is the voice of the conglomerates. Articles like Keith Gessen's create the illusion of American literature. American literature is what they say it is, because they say it. In glossy outlets. They say it often enough that people believe it. Even though they represent a tiny fraction of American writers. Not the best of them either. Definitely not the most original of them. What this crowd has is the biggest megaphone. Wake up, Keith! There's a great big land of writers and writing outs This book is the voice of the conglomerates. Articles like Keith Gessen's create the illusion of American literature. American literature is what they say it is, because they say it. In glossy outlets. They say it often enough that people believe it. Even though they represent a tiny fraction of American writers. Not the best of them either. Definitely not the most original of them. What this crowd has is the biggest megaphone. Wake up, Keith! There's a great big land of writers and writing outside the clubby worlds of Harvard and New York. The rise of independent e-books gives us the opportunity to break down the hierarchical publishing monolith you claim doesn't exist. Kudos for sites like Goodreads for providing openings not only for you, but also indy publishers like myself. We present stronger, more relevant, or more fun work than tame establishment product. Our e-books don't have Graydon Carter listed as co-author, no, but they're worth a look. www.americanpoplit.blogspot.com www.kingwenclas.blogspot.com

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Absolutely superb, as one would expect from Keith Gessen. A very thorough look at how books get published today, a story that is both horrifying and fascinating, at least to book lovers. The subject of the book is the newly published novel The Art of Fielding, a literary first novel just out from Little Brown (the publisher of David Foster Wallace, by the way.) Reading Gessen, one has to wonder how anything gets published at all, much less anything of worth. Gessen and the author are friends and Absolutely superb, as one would expect from Keith Gessen. A very thorough look at how books get published today, a story that is both horrifying and fascinating, at least to book lovers. The subject of the book is the newly published novel The Art of Fielding, a literary first novel just out from Little Brown (the publisher of David Foster Wallace, by the way.) Reading Gessen, one has to wonder how anything gets published at all, much less anything of worth. Gessen and the author are friends and founders of the literary journal n+1, and Gessen of course is deeply embedded in the New York literary scene, so he is able to paint a full and complete portrait of the vagaries of the publishing process. I particularly enjoyed Gessen's comments on the development of The Art of Fielding, from his first view of the manuscript to the final published product. But the whole book is enjoyable,and makes a marvelous prelude to reading the new novel. Highly recommended.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    This short book grew out of a long Vanity Fair article detailing the publishing journey of Chad Harbaugh's "The Art of Fielding." I would not even have known about it had not the Little,Brown editor sitting next to me gushed all over herself when she saw my husband holding the novel as we stood to depart a flight in New York last summer. Neither he nor I shared the acclaim that the novel found in publishing circles or among other readers whom we respect, so I'd hoped this article might cast on l This short book grew out of a long Vanity Fair article detailing the publishing journey of Chad Harbaugh's "The Art of Fielding." I would not even have known about it had not the Little,Brown editor sitting next to me gushed all over herself when she saw my husband holding the novel as we stood to depart a flight in New York last summer. Neither he nor I shared the acclaim that the novel found in publishing circles or among other readers whom we respect, so I'd hoped this article might cast on light on what we were missing. It doesn't. Instead, in addition to interesting insights into the world of international conglomerates that control today's book world (which I found quite depressing), it was primarily an infomercial for Gessen and his literary friends.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Colin

    Despite the title, this is a book about the current state of the book publishing industry. It's not a long read (it was originally published in Vanity Fair magazine), but is engrossing. It uses Chad Harbach's "The Art of Fielding" as a way of introducing Harbach's attempts to get a publisher, then an agent, and then... well, whether you've read "The Art of Fielding" or not, this is for everyone who is interested in books and publishing and distribution and reading and e-readers and the state of Despite the title, this is a book about the current state of the book publishing industry. It's not a long read (it was originally published in Vanity Fair magazine), but is engrossing. It uses Chad Harbach's "The Art of Fielding" as a way of introducing Harbach's attempts to get a publisher, then an agent, and then... well, whether you've read "The Art of Fielding" or not, this is for everyone who is interested in books and publishing and distribution and reading and e-readers and the state of the industry. You might be left with the question "Are you afraid yet?" or something similar in mind.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Booksaremyboyfriends

    A well-written and fascinating trip down Modern Publishing Lane. But seriously, author Keith Gessen used basically every available opportunity to reference his own literary career. As he and Chad were friends-from-way-back pals, it was sometimes interesting to track their mutual journeys together. A lot of times though, it was like "Gessen. Stop plugging your career and the career of your twenty best friends" If you want to write a book about plugging you and your friends careers, write a book c A well-written and fascinating trip down Modern Publishing Lane. But seriously, author Keith Gessen used basically every available opportunity to reference his own literary career. As he and Chad were friends-from-way-back pals, it was sometimes interesting to track their mutual journeys together. A lot of times though, it was like "Gessen. Stop plugging your career and the career of your twenty best friends" If you want to write a book about plugging you and your friends careers, write a book called ME PLUGGING ME AND MY FRIENDS CAREERS. Boom. Problem solved.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    Though a bit dated at this point, this long article provides some good insight into the publishing process for a mega successful literary debut. The tone was a bit boy's club, but perhaps that's due to the subject matter of the book in question—it's about baseball (a subject, we're told, men just simply understand better...). Also, connections matter, people. Connections matter. If you liked this, make sure to follow me on Goodreads for more reviews! Though a bit dated at this point, this long article provides some good insight into the publishing process for a mega successful literary debut. The tone was a bit boy's club, but perhaps that's due to the subject matter of the book in question—it's about baseball (a subject, we're told, men just simply understand better...). Also, connections matter, people. Connections matter. If you liked this, make sure to follow me on Goodreads for more reviews!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Avalon Radys

    I have a horse in the race with regards to the future of publishing, so I found the subject of this short book particularly interesting. I also loved how straightforward the writing managed to be, but it could have covered much more ground and offered up more insights. It does run home the fact that book publishing is still an industry largely dependent on emotional decision-making; I would have loved to read some ideas of how and why this could change more in the future, especially since the au I have a horse in the race with regards to the future of publishing, so I found the subject of this short book particularly interesting. I also loved how straightforward the writing managed to be, but it could have covered much more ground and offered up more insights. It does run home the fact that book publishing is still an industry largely dependent on emotional decision-making; I would have loved to read some ideas of how and why this could change more in the future, especially since the author touched on technology, self-publishing, and even Amazon.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    (4.0) Quite informative, didn't feel like an article stretched longer to sell as ebook (but it was) Well written and interesting. And great promotion for The Art of Fielding; I want to read it too now! :) It's a quick run through how The Art of Fielding came to be published. It's written for us outsiders; anyone in the industry probably thinks it to shallow a treatment. (4.0) Quite informative, didn't feel like an article stretched longer to sell as ebook (but it was) Well written and interesting. And great promotion for The Art of Fielding; I want to read it too now! :) It's a quick run through how The Art of Fielding came to be published. It's written for us outsiders; anyone in the industry probably thinks it to shallow a treatment.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    A fascinating inside look at the world of publishing, with just enough name-dropping to make you feel you might be able to fake your way through a New York literary 'do. Though Gessen's work was available in an abbreviated form in Vanity Fair, it's easily worth the few dollars to read the whole thing. Well-paced and well-written, it's almost enough to get me to read The Art of Fielding... but not quite. A fascinating inside look at the world of publishing, with just enough name-dropping to make you feel you might be able to fake your way through a New York literary 'do. Though Gessen's work was available in an abbreviated form in Vanity Fair, it's easily worth the few dollars to read the whole thing. Well-paced and well-written, it's almost enough to get me to read The Art of Fielding... but not quite.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    A cool and very interesting behind the scenes look at the publishing industry and how it works. It's especially interesting given the challenges the business faces in this day and age of e-books and such. A must read for anyone who likes to read. Also, The Art of Fielding is good. Read it! A cool and very interesting behind the scenes look at the publishing industry and how it works. It's especially interesting given the challenges the business faces in this day and age of e-books and such. A must read for anyone who likes to read. Also, The Art of Fielding is good. Read it!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Graeme Aitken

    As an author and a bookseller I found this fascinating. I had just finished reading the novel and had gone online to read some reviews which is where I found a reference to this e-book. I think with a debut novelist trying to sell a book, the difficult thing is to get your book into the right publisher or agent's 's hands (i.e. one can see the potential) at the right point in time. Luckily for Chad Harbach that came together and his book slowly gathered enormous momentum. As an author and a bookseller I found this fascinating. I had just finished reading the novel and had gone online to read some reviews which is where I found a reference to this e-book. I think with a debut novelist trying to sell a book, the difficult thing is to get your book into the right publisher or agent's 's hands (i.e. one can see the potential) at the right point in time. Luckily for Chad Harbach that came together and his book slowly gathered enormous momentum.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Challenge Me

    This is a fun quick read, but particularly well written, which makes it a great insight into the struggle an author takes to get published. I don't think I learned anything per se, but it's great to see it all put together and told fluidly and so that you empathize with the characters. It almost - almost - makes me want to read the Art of Fielding, despite my lack of love for Baseball. This is a fun quick read, but particularly well written, which makes it a great insight into the struggle an author takes to get published. I don't think I learned anything per se, but it's great to see it all put together and told fluidly and so that you empathize with the characters. It almost - almost - makes me want to read the Art of Fielding, despite my lack of love for Baseball.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kara

    Very interesting and informative. Filled some gaps in my knowledge of the publishing process, with even a couple of unexpectedly funny moments (re: Ice T). Now I really want to read The Art of Fielding! Very interesting and informative. Filled some gaps in my knowledge of the publishing process, with even a couple of unexpectedly funny moments (re: Ice T). Now I really want to read The Art of Fielding!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kara

    Very interesting and informative. Filled some gaps in my knowledge of the publishing process, with even a couple of unexpectedly funny moments (re: Ice T). Now I really want to read The Art of Fielding! Very interesting and informative. Filled some gaps in my knowledge of the publishing process, with even a couple of unexpectedly funny moments (re: Ice T). Now I really want to read The Art of Fielding!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Otis Chandler

    This is a fun quick read, but particularly well written, which makes it a great insight into the struggle an author takes to get published. I don't think I learned anything per se, but it's great to see it all put together and told fluidly and so that you empathize with the characters. It almost - almost - makes me want to read the Art of Fielding, despite my lack of love for Baseball. This is a fun quick read, but particularly well written, which makes it a great insight into the struggle an author takes to get published. I don't think I learned anything per se, but it's great to see it all put together and told fluidly and so that you empathize with the characters. It almost - almost - makes me want to read the Art of Fielding, despite my lack of love for Baseball.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Michael Vagnetti

    Longread advertorial. I'd rather read why the book is so good rather than about the biz of "celebritizing" yet another author. Anybody remember Nell Freudenberger? At least there is a quote about connecting readers and writers. Sift through the politics and play the game. Longread advertorial. I'd rather read why the book is so good rather than about the biz of "celebritizing" yet another author. Anybody remember Nell Freudenberger? At least there is a quote about connecting readers and writers. Sift through the politics and play the game.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jim Belcher

    If you are a writer or just love books, this is a fascinating long article (turned into a short book) about the NY publishing industry, its potential future demise, the rise of Amazon.com and how a book is made in the current climate. A terrific read. A terrific overview of the publishing industry.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Arlene Walker

    Based on what this author says, it's a MIRACLE any book ever gets published; even the great ones like The Art of Fielding. Just like everything else, it's more who you know and less about the talent. No wonder folks are going the self-publishing route. The big pub houses are killing their own industry. But maybe that's a good thing. Based on what this author says, it's a MIRACLE any book ever gets published; even the great ones like The Art of Fielding. Just like everything else, it's more who you know and less about the talent. No wonder folks are going the self-publishing route. The big pub houses are killing their own industry. But maybe that's a good thing.

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