Jack London was one of the first writers to write for fictional magazines. He was also one of the first American writers to earn a living just from his writing. Martin Eden is a writer who resembles London. When Eden sent a manuscript off in the mail he thought there was no human editor at the other end. There must be a machine designed to take the papers out of one envelope and put them into another one and address it for return. This idea has made this novel a favorite with writers who can empathize with Eden.