Editors are human

This is an old-ish piece, from 2001, but it gives a rare peek into the book world from the … editor‘s point of view. In it, Geoff Shandler at Little, Brown, keeps a diary for one week. He gets outbid, he has health problems, he sees the promise and problems in books, he sits through meetings and gets outbid again. He is, in short, refreshingly human. Authors forget that.

A few gems:

Public mention is, for a book editor, like sunlight to a vampire. We don’t want our names on the jackets. We don’t want to go on television. If we’ve been noticed, we’ve failed….

… my least favorite task: beg other writers for blurbs.

(This is becoming an anti-blurb theme.)

Autobiographies are popular, many of them proving that while life is amazing, most life stories are not….

A lot of people go into book publishing because they think they’ll get to read all day. What they don’t realize is that so much of what you read is junk….

A bad review hurts, but a sloppy review infuriates…


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