Okay, so this isn’t exactly the kind of book we’re used to talking about here at Smack Dab…These pages contain no wizards or magic—not a single pint-sized protagonist. But John B. Thompson’s Merchants of Culture is a fantastic read for anyone with a manuscript in a drawer or an idea for a novel floating around in their head.
Thompson spent four years interviewing editors, publishers, and agents in the world of trade publishing, and offers, in MOC, an analysis of how book selling has changed in recent years, explains the dynamics between editors and agents, demystifies the process of acquisition, and even, to some extent, explains the forces at work behind the promotional decisions made by publishing houses.
Let’s face it—getting your book to publication (and, once it’s out, learning the publicity ropes) can feel a bit like stumbling around in a dark room. Thompson’s book offers, I think, a much-welcome streak of light.
…Those of you who also love to read about writing: What books on or about the writing process changed the way you think about the craft or changed your approach as a writer?