Friday, March 24, 2017

A Publishing story

'Good editors don't grow on trees' and this is true both in real life and in fiction. I ended up reading this book attracted by the subject: the publishing industry, which you rarely find featured in novels. 
Focused on the competition between publishing houses and the dramatic conflict between a super-star writer whose entire talent seems to have been lost after the first best-seller hit the shelves ten years ago and his ambitious talented editor, this book is an easy yet pleasant read. You can read it as an humorous account of the publishing industry - including the promotional tricks and the marketing twists - and the fate of the bestselling author. It also offers, in a literary form, a story about what may happen with a manuscript from the final draft until it hits the shelves. 
Maybe I am wrong but it is one of the few - good - books which covers this topic and it is doing it in a very smart way, including the fierce competition between publishing houses. As one of the characters noticed: '(...) ten thousand books have been written on how the CIA operates and next to none on how publishing actually works, from the inside, and that's because we know how to keep secrets'. 
The book has all the ingredients of a comfortable read: interesting characters, good writing, a bit of suspense and a story which flows interestingly until the end. I particularly loved the ambitious young editor Annie McGuire, who dared to go deep into the manuscript of the famous author and whose editing will bring him the fame back, although completely by mistake. Unfortunately, she is excessively described through her Englishness, an attribute used to answer questions and doubts about her, which is not a very creative choice. 
It is a read recommended to both young editors and publishers, as well as to anyone in love with books, curious to discover unknown stories about their favorite hobby.

Rating: 3.5 stars
Disclaimer: Book offered by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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