Friday, October 5, 2007

What I do all day.

In publishing we sometimes say that what we do is reject things, and so if we have a lot of things going on, it's because we're not working enough. Here is a nice summary of rejection. Rejecting isn't as bad as it might seem, Rachel Toor tells her audience of academics. And, by and large, she's right. Were her column more in the genre of bleak humor, she might have mentioned that no one inside a publishing house says "reject"; "kill" is the preferred term. And that the flipside to the "nice kill" is the "short kill." "We cannot express interest in your manuscript," it might say, and, since the topic of killing is close at hand, it's unsigned and unattributed to one editor, lest that act be literalized (or, I supposed, actualized) while it is turned around on the editor.

See also Sturgeon's Law.


cafiend said...

Good to have a look at the hidden processes that have provided me with so many unsigned, depressing messages over the years. I almost got a job in publishing, almost 20 years ago. It fell through. Shortly thereafter I got a job in a bike/XC ski shop "until I find something better or start consistently selling work."

Neither has come to pass.

Creative people are a dime a bushel, it would seem. But it's something to do.

Dingbat said...

I'm actually working up a blog post on writing, publishing, and distribution, and how the economics of things are such that books (perhaps magazines, too) are becoming the best channel for less and less writing. Publishing has never paid off terribly well for authors (in either full or part-time employment), but things may be looking up.