Stephen Markley wrote the forthcoming nonfiction title, Publish This Book. After listening to him read from his work at the In the Flesh reading series, we caught up with him for an interview.

Q: How did you conceive of the idea for Publish This Book?
A: Basically, I was getting tired of trying to break into a career as a writer. I’d written a few practice novels, queried for a few other book ideas and was living in Chicago making $320 a week as a temp and feeling like my life was essentially going nowhere. The book was born of this frustration. It began just as an irreverent idea but grew into a lot of different things as I began to write it.

Q: What pitch did you use to convince your agent to take you on as a client?
A: My pitch letter is included in the book (with the grammatical errors left uncorrected). Basically, I just thought to myself, ‘Catch someone’s–anyone’s–eye.’ And out of 50, approximately 1.5 agents were interested in my idea. I went with the one and not the point-five.

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