The author offers an introduction to book publishing


So you want to publish a book, and that’s the title. Not from your book, but from Anne Trubek’s book. “So you want to publish a book? »

Trubek is the founder of Cleveland-based Belt Publishing, which has been serving the needs of Midwestern readers since 2013 with thoughtful books such as “What You Are Getting Wrong about Appalachia” and Raechel Anne Jolie’s memoir “Rust Belt Femme,” as well as anthologies with writings from the best of a dozen cities, including St. Louis, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Akron and Cleveland. Others are on the way.

Note that the title is not “So you want to write a book?” Trubek is an author, but here she answers questions like “What does an editor do?” “How does a manuscript become a book, going through the intermediate stages of editing, design, printing, binding and all other processes? »

Trubek explains the types of publishers, traditional and independent presses, including university presses, and the Big Five, household names such as Macmillan, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins and all their dozens of subsidiaries, labels and imprints . Comparing large publishers to independents like Budweiser to a craft brewery, she notes that while consumers may have favorite authors or genres, they rarely notice who publishes the books they buy.

Whether you’ve written a book before or just have a great idea for this one, Trubek covers the monumental task of writing a nonfiction book proposal and how it differs from a query. Next, finding an agent and how publishers make and lose money compares it to playing roulette. Using a 2019 title, “Cleveland in 50 Maps,” she outlines estimated page count, list price, date of publication, number of copies in first printing, production costs, sale expected, then concedes that most of the numbers are “magic pixie dust wishes.”

Self-deprecating humor aside, “So You Want to Publish a Book” is a solid introduction to a world that seems unfathomable to even the most avid readers. The personal perspective and local angle add to its accessibility. At the start, captions such as “This is a running head” and “This is a drop cap” provide examples of text elements; more of them would be welcome. Readers will be drawn to chapter headings like “How to make booksellers swoon.”

Advances and royalties, frontlist and backlist, the different types of editing, the importance of margins, how to talk to your publisher, how to talk to your printer, the specter of Amazon, the “dreaded system of returns”: everything is presented in a conversational style, the way you would like your friend to talk to you about it.

“So you want to publish a book? (160 pages, softcover) costs $16.95 from Belt Publishing. Anne Trubek is also the author of “A Skeptic’s Guide to Writers’ Houses” and “The History and Uncertain Future of Handwriting”.


The original title, in 2010, was “From the Back of the House: Memories of a Steakhouse Clan”. After 10 years, Gary L. Rockey, son of Jim’s Steak House manager Raymond Rockey, has a second edition of his column about the restaurant founded by Raymond’s aunt and uncle in 1930.

With a new introduction from novelist Les Roberts (“We’ll Always Have Cleveland”) and a few new recipes in the back (you’ll want to scale things down; French dressing requires eight cups of sugar and three gallons of mayonnaise), “Memories of a Steak House Clan” (279 pages, softcover) costs $53.05 at online retailers.


Hudson Library & Historical Society: David Dickinson, author of “The Backyard Astronomer’s Field Guide: How to Find the Best Objects the Night Sky Has to Offer,” gives a virtual presentation on stargazing at 7 p.m. Monday. At 7 p.m. Wednesday, author Angie Kim discusses her debut novel “Miracle Creek,” which was named the best book of 2019 by Time and the Washington Post, among others, during a Zoom presentation. Registration required for both; visit or call 330-653-6658, ext. 1010.

Cuyahoga County Public Library: Edgar Award-winning author Karin Slaughter talks about “The Silent Wife,” 10th book in the Will Trent series about a Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent struggling with dyslexia, in a Facebook Life event 7 p.m. Tuesday; at 10 a.m. Wednesday, sportswriter Scott Longert talks about “Cy Young: An American Baseball Hero,” his biography for young readers; At 7 p.m. Wednesday, Shari Lapena discusses her thriller novel ‘The End of Her,’ in which new parents are visited by a woman who claims the husband murdered his first wife. Visit for more information and to register (required).

Email information about local books to Yuvonne Webb at [email protected] Send event notices at least two weeks in advance to [email protected]


Comments are closed.