By Jane Friedman

Paperback, 313 pages, 2018.

The University of Chicago Press

“Thousands of people dream of writing and publishing full-time, yet few have been told how to make that dream a reality.”

Classes teach the craft but not the trade, so writers often struggle with their obligations as they pursue their passion. We often think writing is an artistic pursuit rather than a career, so we’re not prepared for the hardships that rejections and obligations impose.

Jane’s extensive experience gives us the essentials on how to earn if you want to write. There are many ways writers can get paid while honing your craft and pursuing your writing goals.

Comprehensive and concise, you’ll learn about the publishing industry, how to publish your book, what publications pay, if you need an MFA or writing degree, how to get leads, and when to go full-time or freelance.

When treated as a career, writers can write as you please and still support yourself. It’s important to keep records, plan your submissions, market yourself, and create your platform to gain readers and recognition.

Jane curbs your publishing expectations. “Many early-career writing attempts are not publishable, even after revision, yet are necessary for a writer’s growth.” If you don’t know or accept this, you’ll be discouraged by rejection.

Neither will you earn much just from books.

“While there are far easier ways to make a living than as a writer…It’s because most people are not willing to learn the business and do what’s required to make writing pay.”

I’ve reread this guide repeatedly—for review and inspiration. An excellent reference for teachers, students, writers, and all who aspire to live off their words.