How Words Get Good

Rebecca Lee


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Profile Books Ltd
6 April 2023
ISBN: 9781788166386
384 pages

From the publisher

Catnip for booklovers - a funny, warm and fascinating insight into the world of making books, by an expert

'Any bibliophile will find many enjoyable nuggets in this compendium of book chat' Stephen Poole, Guardian

'An engaging little eye-opener about the publishing business, full of tasty nuggets about books, writers and their editors' Sunday Times

'Enjoyable ... engaging ... insightful' Independent

Once upon a time, a writer had an idea. They wrote it down. But what happened next?

Join Rebecca Lee, professional text-improver, as she embarks on a fascinating journey to find out how words get from an author's brain to finished, printed books. She'll reveal the dark arts of ghostwriters, explore the secret world of literary agents and uncover the hidden beauty of typesetting. Along the way, her quest will be punctuated by a litany of little-known (but often controversial) considerations that make a big impact: ellipses, indexes, hyphens, esoteric points of grammar and juicy post-publication corrections. After all, the best stories happen when it all goes wrong.

From foot-and-note disease to the town of Index, Missouri - turn the page to discover how books get made and words get good.*

* Or, at least, better