Notes from a Small Press

Anne Trubek
Think of these as signatures, unbound. Thoughts, explanations, and screeds about the publishing industry by Anne Trubek, founder of Belt Publishing. For the bound version, pick up "So You Want To Publish A Book?" Belt Publishing, July 2020.
Created 14 Oct 2019
  • How The Marquis de Lafayette Invented American Publishing
    20 Jun 2022
    Publishing as we conceive of it today didn’t really exist before the 19th century in the United States (or elsewhere, really); until then, printers were publishers (as well as booksellers), and more o...
  • Debt, Anxiety, and James Patterson
    14 Jun 2022
    I’m teaching TWO online courses on non-fiction book proposals in July. One is less expensive than the other. Check them out! Sign up or email questions to me at Not yet a subscr...
  • 1% of Books Sell 5K And Other Misleading Stats
    09 Jun 2022
    The book world (aka my twitter feed) is abuzz with a recent stat in the New York Times that only 1% of books sold more than 5,000 copies in 2021. (This after a previous stat that only 2% sold that man...
  • You Have A New Memory
    06 Jun 2022
    Facebook served me a memory that other day. I hate Facebook, and their memories, and I hate myself for using the verb “serve” just there to describe algorithmic nostalgia. I clicked. It was the eighth...
  • The Bestseller Nobody* Knows
    02 Jun 2022
    I’m teaching an online course on non-fiction book proposals next month. Check it out! Sign up or email questions to me at I polled my twitter followers: That most have not heard...
  • News and Notes
    20 May 2022
    I’m finishing up the book proposal course I teach today, and it’s been great. These courses always have quite a few lurkers (which is fine!); this time the group is very active, and I’ve been watching...
  • "I seem to have no market whatsoever."
    10 May 2022
    Nathanael West is one of my favorite writers, smart, funny, dark, weaving in social commentary. But, as Belt senior editor Mike Jauchen pointed out to me recently, he had a hell of a time selling book...
  • Booktok
    03 May 2022
    I’m smitten by booktok, the corner of Tiktok where people talk about the books they’ve read recently, the books they plan to read, the books they think are overhyped elsewhere on booktok, their readin...
  • Where are the Black gay novelists?
    26 Apr 2022
    Next month, Belt Publishing is releasing its first novel, Boys Come First by Aaron Foley (it’s the third book Belt has published by Aaron, after How To Live in Detroit Without Being a Jackass and the ...
  • Indie bookstores redux
    18 Apr 2022
    Last week’s newsletter led to lots of comments and debates, so I took down the subscribers paywall. If you want to follow this week’s newsletter, probably best to read that post before this one. In re...
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