L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

07 October 2006 Blog Home : October 2006 : Permalink

More Booky Bits and Bobs

The magnificent Miss Snark, a lady whom I am not worthy so much as to be used as carpet under her stillettos, has two great links. The first, which slightly redeems my view of Gawker, although just possibly it moves them into the stopped clock category, explains why you don't want to be an editor, and how to behave towards them if you are an author:

Why do editors do it, anyway? They make less money than any other college graduates they know, their jobs are backbreaking and stressful and impossible to leave at the office, and their career trajectories tend to involve lingering on (or clinging to) the same rung of the corporate ladder for year after frustrating year. And even though teaching a retarded child how to write her own name isn't really so different from working on your average celebrity memoir, that doesn't mean editing qualifies for 'noble calling' status. There must be something that keeps editors from throwing in their red (actually, often blue) pencils, and it can't be the office camaraderie.

I know - it must be the authors. The chance to work with great minds - to be an important part of the creative process for some of the most revered thinkers of our time - is such an enormous privilege that it makes any number of other indignities tolerable. Right?

Uh, maybe, for the gradgrinds who still believe everything they learned at the Columbia Publishing Course. For everyone else, authors are a cross to bear somewhere between 'creepy messenger guy' and 'can't even afford a new coat from H&M" on the job-dissatisfaction scale. Because, with a few glowing exceptions, authors are the craziest, meanest, strangest, cluelessest people you've ever met.

Just in case you ever become one, please remember this tip: Just as you treat the diner waitress respectfully in order to avoid loogies in your coleslaw, it behooves you to make nice with the people on whose enthusiasm the success of your book depends. So don't : ...

It has also been noted by the ill editor alg as well and heartily recommended.

The second is an author's rant about the mail, electronic or regular, that her readers send her and how you really need to avoid certain topics or habits if you expect a response. One of those lists of things that you would think would be obvious but which apparently aren't to some people. Unfortunately I'm fairly sure that these people are precisely the ones who won't read the list.

Moving on from Snarkdom, I cam across a publishing house that seems to be emulating the Baen trick and releasing some of its work - in this case a graphic novel - for free on line. Never heard of the book but it looks interesting so maybe I'll see if I can find it in Bahston next week.

On that note I'm also anticipating buying Lois M Bujold's latest book - The Sharing Knife (vol 1) - while I'm there. Review to come shortly I expect.

I despise l'Escroc and Vile Pin