The Forest for the Trees (Revised and Updated): An Editor's Advice to Writers

The Forest for the Trees Revised and Updated An Editor s Advice to Writers Quickly established as an essential and enduring companion for aspiring writers when it was first published Betsy Lerner s sharp funny and insightful guide has been meticulously updated and revised

  • Title: The Forest for the Trees (Revised and Updated): An Editor's Advice to Writers
  • Author: Betsy Lerner
  • ISBN: 9781101444078
  • Page: 177
  • Format: ebook
  • The Forest for the Trees (Revised and Updated): An Editor's Advice to Writers

    Quickly established as an essential and enduring companion for aspiring writers when it was first published, Betsy Lerner s sharp, funny, and insightful guide has been meticulously updated and revised to address the dramatic changes that have reshaped the publishing industry in the decade since From blank page to first glowing or gutting review, Betsy Lerner is a knowinQuickly established as an essential and enduring companion for aspiring writers when it was first published, Betsy Lerner s sharp, funny, and insightful guide has been meticulously updated and revised to address the dramatic changes that have reshaped the publishing industry in the decade since From blank page to first glowing or gutting review, Betsy Lerner is a knowing and sympathetic coach who helps writers discover how they can be productive in the creative process and how they can better their odds of not only getting published, but getting published well This is an essential trove of advice for writers and an indispensable user s manual to both the inner life of the writer and the increasingly anxious place where art and commerce meet the boardrooms and cubicles of the publishing house.

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    One thought on “The Forest for the Trees (Revised and Updated): An Editor's Advice to Writers

    1. Adam Ross

      This book has become, almost instantly, one of my all-time favorite books on writing. It's unique. Instead of dealing with matters of technique or style, it gets to the heart of the matter, plumbs the depths of the world of the writer. The first six chapters have to do with the personality and emotions of the writer. Each chapter deals with one or another of writer personalities, filled with profound insight into writer's minds. She really does know exactly what makes a writer tick. The second p [...]

    2. J. Scala

      Betsy Lerner's The Forest for the Trees: An Editor's Advice to Writers has a bit of an identity issue. On the one hand, it claims to be advice to writers which, in places, it actually is. On the other, it reads like an insider's exposé of what editors and agents really think of we writer types. I couldn't help but wonder if Lerner's audience wasn't actually intended to be other editors who would get the inside jokes and find the stereotypical caricatures of authors funny.Lerner recently posted [...]

    3. John

      Every. Single. Writer. I’ve given this to has called to thank me. Every. Single. One. Ignoring the not so fashionable accessory of sleep deprivation that comes with an infant, one started reading in the evening and didn’t stop till she finished in the early morning hours. It’s such a damn good book. And if you’ve ever longed to write that novel or that exquisite piece of history or collection of essays, let me offer a little piece of advice: – Stop reading this right now, grab this boo [...]

    4. Amy Plum

      This is like a spa for the writer's mind. Helped soothe my "I don't know what the hell's going on in this mysterious world of publishing" angst and reassured me that I am normal (for an author). As much for the unpublished writer as for those who have just published for the first time.

    5. K.J. Dell'Antonia

      I reread this regularly, and now there is a new edition, with new words I can use for inspiration and self-flagellation. I can't wait.Marked as "read," but in some sense I'm always reading this.

    6. Deborah Harkness

      A book for writers and those who love them, Lerner talks about the ups and downs of book writing and publication. If you are a writer, you will find yourself constantly thinking "oh, I thought that was just me" and if you love/live with/work for a writer you will have a sympathetic resource here. Required rereading and reading, this is a book that will help keep things in perspective!

    7. Rebecca

      An interesting read about the world of publishing from an agent. Betsy Lerner has a MFA and a deep love of all things literary. She tells a lot of stories about famous authors and working with new writers while weaving in quotes and insights.Most aspiring writers can't wait to be published and yet getting published quite often kills their drive and ambition. I didn't realize so many authors only get published once and then struggle to put out anything worthy of attention. Oh, and how many have s [...]

    8. London Mabel

      One of the best books about writing I've read, though it's not a how-to. Lerner was an editor for 15 years at a few houses, and is now an agent (she was also a poet.) She says the first half of her book is meant as an encouragement to those stalled in their writing or afraid of writing; maybe because that's not my problem, I just found it to be a celebration of writers. She tells great stories both from her own career and from the lives of famous writers and their editors, and really gives you t [...]

    9. Lee

      Very readable reinforcement for those who sort of know a lot of this stuff. Required reading for the clueless. Depressing for writers who seem to pass the psych profiles of the book's first part but haven't had much success with agents, editors, publication -- all of which sadly seem like last century's news. A well-written tour of the sausage factory -- left me feeling a bit grody, like I'd indulged in a guilty pleasure instead of spending weekend time reading something healthier for me. Defini [...]

    10. K

      I went into this book with the wrong idea about what kind of book it was. I expecting a craft book that gave tips on publishing from both sides of it — writing and editing — when what I got was more of a collection of essays and memoirs about the author's experience as an editor and with writers. Which meant a lot of 20 page chapters that boiled down to "some writers are neurotic. advice: calm down and write", which I didn't need 20 pages to drill in. I ended up skimming through a lot of t [...]

    11. Kirtida Gautam

      "No matter how many compromises were made along the way, no matter what happens in the future, a book is a thing to behold." ~ Betsy LernerA book that introduces a writer to writer's life, vile and virtues. What to expect. Where s/he is going wrong. It's a 101. Must read for any writer who wants to understand the what being a writer feels like, inside the skin.

    12. Huntley Fitzpatrick

      I am so grateful to have found this book. We writers work alone and sometimes struggle. Betsy Lerner holds up a flashlight to show us all that we are not, in fact, alone. An amazing book. I keep it on my nightstand.

    13. Tabitha Blankenbiller

      When setting out to write a book the cover touts as “An editor’s advice to writers”, Betsy Lerner immediately has to grapple with the issue of establishing trust. Her audience is writers, many of them unpublished. Unpublished authors are not very likely to trust editors for a couple reasons: one, we aren’t likely to know any and two, they are the “others”, the ones rejecting our work in the first place, hiding behind receptionists and assistants in New York offices away from us. Her [...]

    14. Alex Telander

      Like a lot of English majors on campus, I want to get a book published eventually. Also, like a lot of other people, I don’t really know how to go about getting an agent, an editor, a publisher, etc. I just figured I would find answers to those questions when I got the book done.Thankfully there is now a book that answers all these questions, and much more. The Forest for the Trees should be on every writer’s shelf, right next to Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style. The author, Bets [...]

    15. Asails F

      It is 2011 and over ten years since its publishing and is the preeminent book about the publishing industry from Betsy Lerner and editor who seems to care about the writer and the writer’s life.Much of the book is a vindication of the editor and his necessity at a time just before publishing was about to go through its greatest changes and turmoil. Betsy even apprised the reader of the coming changes in the industry and its effects on the writer. While the book is written from an industry-cent [...]

    16. Liza

      Betsy Lerner warns that The Forest for the Trees is not a prescriptive formula about rules and style. Instead, you learn about the various writing personalities she has often encountered and gives compassionate advice so that aspiring writers may overcome their most damning psychological roadblocks. Whether you're the writer with a million ideas you can't choose from or the self-promoter who wishes to gain fame and notoriety, she has practical advice to help you. She acknowledges that the writin [...]

    17. Alex Kudera

      I enjoyed the first half better than the second, when Lerner dazzles us with anecdotes about many different famous fiction writers. The important take, for any writer large or small, is to recognize how unrealistic the perspective gets when she shifts to the chosen few, for better or worse, who are dealing with sizeable cash advances, New York agents, etc. I also just finished a short book on Kafka's work which included a note on how little commercial value mainstream publishing saw in his writi [...]

    18. Randy

      An Instant Shrinkfor WritersThe Ambivalent Writer, The Natural, The Wicked Child, The Self Promoter, The Neurotic: which one are you? These are the first five chapter titles of Betsy Lerner’s (agent, writer, editor) book, The Forest for the Trees. It was published in 2000, and I’ve probably read it yearly since I buying it. (Note picture of worn book reflecting clutching, bathtub reading, and talismanic lifting to heart, kissing, and offering to God) Lerner’s book will always be on top of [...]

    19. Catherine Grant

      I enjoyed this book, but it wasn't the best book I have ever read on the subjects of writing and publishing, nor gives the best advice. However, I did glean some information about myself and established some realistic expectations about the publishing experience. I have learned some ways that I can help my career as a writer and work with my future agent and editor instead of sabotaging myself by not understanding the limitations of those people who, at this time, I see as the editorial/publishi [...]

    20. Tamela Rich

      How refreshing that someone at the top of her profession, a profession characterized by snobbery and back stabbing, would begin her book revealing her own fecklessness in trying to find her place in the publishing sun. "To calm my nerves before going in (to an interview with a Putnum editor arranged through her mother), I wolfed down a Haagan-Dazs ice cream cone. In the elevator I realized the chocolate had stained my jumperThirty resumes and a half-dozen interviews later, I had failed the typin [...]

    21. Beth Cato

      This book surprised me on many levels. I bought it and expected a dry yet useful commentary on the publishing industry and what writers must do to survive. Instead, I discovered something that was highly readable--as smooth as fiction--and comparable to someone taking a writer by the hand to offer them advice. The Forest for the Trees is a gentle book. Lerner's approach is that she understands writers, with all their angst, writer's block, and depression, and that it takes more than talent to su [...]

    22. Amy

      This is one of the best books about writing, really the writer, and the publishing industry that I have every read. The author of the book is an editor and calls on her years of experience climbing her own way up the ladder in the publishing industry to give insight on such things as the different types of writers there are, the psychology of the writer, and the complex relationship between agent and writer, writer and editor, writer and publisher. Having read several books on writing, mostly de [...]

    23. Ivy Reisner

      This is required reading for anyone who aspires to become an author. She doesn't talk about technique. She talks about the ins and out of what it's like to be part of the publishing world, what to really expect. Not much has changed since her first edition, other than talk of technological options, such as Twitter and Facebook, that weren't available at the time. The information on building a platform is important.

    24. Dave Cullen

      The best book I've come across on for writers getting serious about a career.(Disclaimer: Betsy is my agent. But she is my agent BECAUSE I read this book, and then sought her out.)

    25. Stephanie

      (From my blog, Misprinted Pages.)You’d think a book subtitled “An Editor’s Advice to Writers” would be about useful editing techniques, right? Wrong — at least not in Betsy Lerner’s The Forest for the Trees, which views the process of writing and and publishing through a literary editor’s lens. This is an insider’s look at the business, with juicy secrets from within the publishing house, from an editor who fearlessly bares her soul and, by way of it, encourages her readers to do [...]

    26. Nicola

      Betsy Lerner’s book The Forest for the Trees is a book about writers for writers, but not just any kind of writer. Her book is for those of us who know in our hearts we are writers but haven’t yet figured out how to overcome our personal obstacles and become writers. For once, someone addresses this particular sector of the writing world without making those of us struggling feel bad about not churning out a thousand words a day. Lerner talks about the reasons we may not be able to drum up t [...]

    27. Allison

      As an amateur writer who has long fancied a career in editing, this book naturally piqued my interest. In chapters that first detail different types of writers and then move to varying perspectives on the process of publishing, Lerner takes the writer by the hand and on a tour through the miry maze of publication.Lerner begins with the starting point of any piece of writing: its author. I thoroughly enjoyed the characterizations, sometimes perhaps caricatures, of different ways the need to write [...]

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