Frustrated with the publishing world, having written and pitched many stories to no avail, college student and writer Stephen Markley decided to write a memoir about trying to publish a book. The peculiar idea was, however, that the very memoir he was writing would be the book he was trying to publish. While Markley essentially wrote the book about writing the book, the events in his life and the emotions they elicited quickly and cleverly became the main plot as he revealed the naivety and determination of youth that borders on hubris. Exhibiting extraordinary humor and revealing Markley’s gift of optimism, Publish This Book is an inspiring debut.
After writing the first two chapters of the book, Markley was unable to continue until an agent or publisher showed an interest in the convoluted project. As the rejections rolled in, they made their way into the manuscript, as did Markley’s writing workshop, and soon his friends and family, who dismissed his idea and encouraged him to get a job or work on a novel. Events such as an obtainment of a miserable nine-to-five day job, a friend’s unexpected pregnancy, and the struggle maintaining a relationship with his long-distance girlfriend paralleled his writing process as he narrated his life as it unfolded. The pages of this memoir are infused with scatological humor and are littered with witty footnotes, following his journey from confused, naive, and fun-seeking young adult to wise — though still fun-seeking — published author.
This book is one of the funniest books I have ever read. I found myself cracking up practically every other page. Publish This Book is an essential read for aspiring authors, especially those in their twenties.