An ambitious young woman navigates the slippery world of advertising–and the equally slippery question of who she wants to be in Sally Franson’s highly-praised debut novel, A LADY’S GUIDE TO SELLING OUT. 

Mad Men meets The Devil Wears Prada in Sally’s smart and witty debut novel.

Casey Pendergast, once a book-loving English major, is now a clothes-loving brand strategist at a top ad agency. Casey is a superstar, and her career has skyrocketed: she knows what people want, and she knows how to give it to them. When her hard-to-please boss assigns her to a top-secret marketing campaign that pairs authors with corporations hungry for creative copy and upmarket cache, Casey is initially thrilled–but as she begins to meet and woo her literary idols, she can’t help but question the cost on her conscience. With an unforgettable voice–plucky and razor-sharp, equal parts feminist and pop-culture–this is the story of a young woman untangling the contradictions of our culture, and finding her way out of the rat race by returning to her first love: literature.

Praise & Press

“This frothy, sneaky tale from Franson intermixes elements of The Bold Type, Mad Men, and The Devil Wears Prada. A book lover goes to work for an ad agency, where she bears witness to how money and corporate power infiltrate a world she thought she loved.”
Entertainment Weekly

“Ten Good Reads to Make Time for this Summer”
Saint Paul Pioneer Press

Featured on Cup of Jo 

Featured in Cosmo’s “Best May Ever”

“A must-read book”
New York Post

“Franson’s debut is a fast-paced and quick-witted trip into the world of advertising today. With smart, funny characters and perfectly crafted dialogue, Franson cleverly explores the battle between giving in and staying true to oneself.”

“Comparisons will be made to The Devil Wears Prada, but Franson’s irresistibly flawed heroine holds her own as she strives to find honesty, meaning, and even love in a demanding world, resulting in an addictive, escapist novel.”
—Publishers Weekly

“A gorgeous treat… Sally Franson’s voice is indeed addictive: whipsmart, biting and clever. I kept pausing to re-read parts of it with a huge smile on my face. Truly beautifully observed.”
—Jane Green New York Times bestselling author of Jemima JThe Beach House, and Falling

“A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out perfectly captures the glamorous highs and hilarious lows of the cutthroat world of new advertising—the Wild West of our time. Casey is an unforgettable heroine, a feminist Don Draper for our age, navigating the bizarre ways in which art and commerce intersect. Sally Franson’s debut is exhilarating, terrifying, and totally addictive.”
—Lucy Sykes, author of The Knockoff

“If Jane Austen’s Emma and Dorothy Parker had a three-way with David Copperfield (not the magician), Casey Pendergast would be their wisecracking, heartbroken love child. In Sally Franson’s smart, funny, and sharp-eyed novel, terrible mistakes are made and, mostly, rectified. A happy ending, a true heart, and a very good and clever time. Perfect.”
—Amy Bloom, author of Away

“A wonderfully comic and smart novel about one woman’s trip to our contemporary Vanity Fair, complete with Instagram, Twitter, and messaging of every sort. Both funny and sobering, this book is a remarkable debut from an amazingly prescient and talented young writer.”
—Charles Baxter, author of The Feast of Love

“Funny, fast-paced, and seductive, A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out is about books and sex and ambition and love and money and the various undeniable attractions of staying true to oneself versus (for the right price) selling out. Sally Franson’s debut novel is hilariously terrific.”
—Julie Schumacher, author of Dear Committee Members


SALLY FRANSON received her education at Barnard College and the University of Minnesota. Her work has appeared in such varied places as The GuardianNPR Weekend Edition, and Witness, and she has received recognition from The Macdowell Colony, the Ucross Foundation, the Sewanee Writers’ ConferenceGlimmer Train, Best American Travel Writing, and more. Once in a while she writes humor for The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, where she lives with her boyfriend and her feelings.