To be clear: this is not a guide on how to write a book (Keyes covered that in his last volume, The Courage to Write). Rather, it’s a tool for writers who have found their courage and now need hope: that their work is good, that it will be published despite the inevitable rejections, that readers will actually buy it. “Frustration is the natural habitat of writers at every level,” writes Keyes, a trustee of the Antioch Writers’ Workshop, and his goal here is to lead writers out of the darkness of despair and into the light of reassurance. Keyes offers useful advice on coping with “discouragers” (they “can be dispatched by understanding their motives and by putting them to work as goads”); “exorcising excuses” (“I have no talent”); and “rites of rejection.” He introduces writers to the strange habits of the “publishing tribe” (they are, he says, slaves to the opinion of their peers), and offers many anecdotes from the experiences of A-list writers such as Ann Patchett and Tony Hillerman. Writers seeking reasons to hope should get a boost from this gently reassuring handbook.