Publishing Books

New School for Social Research: Creative Publ & Critical Jrnl

Liberal Arts
Graduate Course
Degree Students (with Restrictions)
Publishing Books
Spring 2024
Taught By: Alex Star
Section: A

CRN: 14748

Credits: 3

This course will be taught be Alex Star, editor at Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The course might begin with a consideration of how to identify a valid book idea (over and against, say, a magazine article); and proceed to consider how to write and judge a book proposal; how to understand the work of literary agents; the current publishing ecosystem (academic and trade presses, imprints and mergers); how books are valued, sold and acquired; the research, writing, and editorial process that makes a book; the design of books; the changing art of promotion (adaptations, op eds, social media); the role of bookstores in shaping the industry; and the practice of book reviewing, and its consequences. Class sessions could also consider topics such as the history of the book as a technology and its uncertain future; particular books that count as “publishing phenomena” because they define particular niches that future authors will seek to fill (cf Naomi Klein’s No Logo, Patrick Keefe’s Say Nothing, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me); the career-patterns of authors and editors; and the legal, political, ethical dilemmas authors and publishers face as they seek to add something unique and valuable to the world. Readings might include the transcript of the 2022 DOJ vs. PenguinRandomHouse trial, Laura McGrath’s work on the data analytics of publishing, publishing memoirs by Diana Athill, Robert Gottlieb and others; and memorable literary accounts of the attempt to write a book, such as Geoff Dyer’s Out of Sheer Rage. Assignments would include writing a sample book proposal, and role-playing an editor seeking to convince colleagues to acquire a project.

College: New School for Social Research (GF)

Department: Creative Publ & Critical Jrnl (CPJ)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 16

Add/Drop Deadline: February 4, 2024 (Sunday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 16, 2024 (Tuesday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 4:42am EDT 6/20/2024

Meeting Info:
Days: Wednesday
Times: 6:00pm - 7:50pm
Building: 6 East 16th Street
Room: 1200B
Date Range: 1/24/2024 - 5/8/2024