When Getting a Book Published is “Much Too Easy”

Comedian, Writer, and Producer
Josh Lieb's process of finding a publisher for and writing his book was criminally easy.
  • Transcript


Question: What was the process of doing this book?

Josh Lieb: I came up with the title and I said, that will make a good title, and then I figured out the book to go with it. I sat down and started writing. I wrote four chapters and I called up my TV agent and I said, “Listen, I’m writing a book. Can you help me out?” And they said, “You have a literary agent that you didn’t know about, a book agent. A guy named Richard Abate.” And so I went over and met with him and I left him my chapters and my plan for the book and he read it over the weekend and he said, yeah, let’s go do this. And I started meeting with them and different publishing houses. It was much too easy. It was great. To get that far was terrific and the first four chapters came to me very easily. And after that, I just had to sit down and start working.

Question: How do you fit writing around a day job?

Josh Lieb: Right. Yeah, I wish I had that discipline. In the beginning, I didn’t have the conflict because we were on strike. I work for the Daily Show with John Stewart, and we were on strike for about three months a years and a-half ago. And I sold the book while we were on strike. So, initially I had all the time in the world, and then I was back at work getting my gears back together. I worked at night, I worked weekends, and I worked every holiday. I attempted a few times to be that guy, that Larry McMurtry, who gets up at 4:30 and writes for three hours and then can spend the rest of his day doing whatever, but I couldn’t do it.

Question: What was the hardest part of writing the book?

Josh Lieb: Boy, It was nothing too difficult. I hesitate to say that, I mean, I’m a professional writer, so I’m used to writing, I didn’t get stumped anywhere. It was more interesting – I thought it would be a little bit harder than it was because I had never written a book before, but I was certainly familiar with the format. I kind of knew the book that I wanted to write. The toughest part really, because I had never written anything quite this – all by myself before. Something this big with no collaboration whatsoever was giving it to my editors and saying, “What do you think?”

Recorded on:  October 9, 2009