A Gent's Outlook

A Literary Agent Divulges the TRUTH about Publishing

Friday, December 16, 2005

Editors Should Be Seen and Not Heard

Godammit, I hate newbie editors! Almost as much as wannabe writers, if you can imagine such a thing. Why? Why? Because they are full of themselves, stupid, and have no taste in books (or anything else for that matter).

See, I have been working a big sale, and this schmuddling of a pissant editor has been fighting me every step of the way. There’s a rhythm to how this shit gets done, but Numb-nuts the Brown grad insists on nit-picking every goddamn detail to death, and talks a lot about “in good faith”, which are words I really don’t use when I negotiate with a publisher, mainly because I have no faith in their being good. They think they can’t make money unless they somehow screw a writer, and it is just a matter of which screwing they think they can get by with at the time. Most have learned by now that this bullshit doesn’t get past me, primarily because if there is any screwin’ to be done, Sammy will be the one doing it, baby. But Junior hasn’t picked up on this so far.

And Numb-nuts constantly reminds me that he worked on a book with a celebrity (think of the David Hasselhoff variety), and uses that to try to impress me and get his own way, the little prick. What the fuck to I care if you held hands with Ivana Trump while she got her snatch waxed?

Do you know how many times I hear this shit a day from editors? “Oh, I worked with so-and-so on his best-seller” or some shit about the movie star they “worked with” (translation: shook hands with once before his book came out). So what? I got a blow-job from Big Bird while Oscar the Grouch fondled my balls. Whoopee. You know what it got me? Feathers in my pubs, that’s what. (Juuuust kidding, Birdie, just kidding.)

See how ridiculous this shit gets? Who cares? But that’s the problem with these dipshit editors who want to go toe-to-toe with ol’ Sammy, or any agent, I assume. It becomes less about the book, and more about ego. What starts out as a simple negotiation turns into a cockfight of the worst kind. Do these fuck-ups forget that they are only as good as the last fingerfuck behind the copier they gave the cutie-pie in Marketing? You know, Marketing? The department that used to be told what to do, but now calls the shots much of the time? Yeah, them, dipshit. Better exercise those fingers, Nummy.

What happened to the people in this industry who weren’t in it for the ego boost and bragging rights? Where did they go? I have a female acquaintance who teaches high school, and, God help her, likes it, and she told me once that there is no room for the teacher’s ego in the classroom. The kids will eat you alive if you step on your own dick because you’re blinded by your high self-esteem, especially if you have nothing to back it up. If that’s the case, it looks like I might be having some baked editor for dinner, doesn’t it?



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