How DO you make money as a writer without losing your mind or your soul? The short answer is, “It depends.” The long answer is the entirety of this book: honest, engaging essays by writers including Cheryl Strayed, Roxane Gay, Nick Hornby, Susan Orlean, Alexander Chee, and Jennifer Weiner.

Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living by Manjula Martin ($16, Simon & Schuster), recommended by Mary Laura, Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN.