The book based on the newsletter!

This week has been exhausting. Obviously, there’s this whole global pandemic thing. Plus, my decision to push out a lot of books quickly, as a way to survive the plague, while definitely working, means the Belt staff has been churning, ruthlessly efficient, readying a swath of wonderful books for y’all to read soon. The fast pace of work set against the molasses pace of the world is getting to me.

But mainly I am exhausted because I reviewed the first pass of the laid out version my book this week, the book based on this here newsletter, the book you are all responsible for birthing as much as me, with all your interest, questions, kudos, and subscriptions over the past 18 months. Thank you for demonstrating an interest in my nuts and bolts descriptions of and inflammatory rants about the publishing industry!

Yet, I find it enormously draining work, reviewing the manuscript, because while I am obstentibly reading to find typos and grammatical mistakes, I am concurrently running through the most popular playlist of laments by many writers while reviewing their work, verses that go something like “this entire paragraph sucks, who wrote this paragraph? what is this idiotic chapter, who cares? why didn’t someone find a better writer for this project? also should this all be revised to reflect changes since COVID? should that be a that or a which? should which be a which or a that?”

Is it any surprise I collapse in a heap of eBay-scrolling every night at 8?


Even though I am one eighth the writer I wish I were, Meredith Pangrace is four times the designer I deserve. She has created a gorgeous, witty interior for the book. Here are a few highlights:

Here’s how the glossaries will look:

Here’s how we will show, not tell, proofreading:

A section from our chapter on cover design:

And more! We will add more whimsical and informative design elements in the second pass for the interior. Which is great, because the more I can focus on images, the less I will stare in disbelief at the poorly chosen words.

Detailing how much I hate the prose is a piss poor way to promote this book, which publishes July 28, I realize. I’ll suck it up and do more “NO WRITER SHOULD BE WITHOUT THIS IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTION” marketing soon (now, even! Want an egalley? Shoot an email to Martha Bayne at I decided Belt would not do any conventional publicity for the book, partially as a cost-saving measure, partially because I consider the primary audience for the book you guys, you bleary eyed regular readers of this newsletter, you paid subscribers and kind-repliers, who make it fun to type into substack once per week. I sense that once publication date comes, this newsletter might be subsumed, as in some sort of singularity; I’m still deciding what I’ll do about the newsletter come pub day. Either way, the book is dedicated to you.

I’ll be signing pre-orders: thanks to so many of you who have already ordered a copy through the Belt store. If you have not yet and would like to…. I won’t say pre-orders would be not super-appreciated. THIS IS THE LINK. CLICK THIS LINK.

What I’m Reading: Severance, at last. I have book reviewer things to say about it that are not all positive! But as a reader reading a novel about a pandemic during a pandemic, I give it a thumbs up.

Shout Out: Some lovely guys down the block from me run the most sophisticate, under-the-rader midcentury furniture store, Rook Modern. I bought some pieces from them last week, and consigned some other pieces to them this week. They do the most meticulous work, and only sell very high end pieces, at Cleveland prices. They are happy to ship anywhere, and you can find their current wares on their Instagram page. Check it out, tell your collector/designer friends, help support one local small business, and soon you can start staring at a more beautiful four walls.

Are you working on a non-fiction book proposal, or would like to? I am teaching an online course on just that, starting June 15. Sign up!

Notes from a Small Press is a weekly newsletter by Anne Trubek, founder and publisher of Belt PublishingHelp support it by becoming a paid subscriber. Pre-order So You Want to Publish a Book?, a book based on the newsletter, publishing in July.