life in publishing


I just finished chapter eight and OH MY GOD 

I literally had to put the book down for a second like 

Originally posted by yourbasicaesthetics

Also half of that chapter gave me the real good feels and half of it gave me the fears and an extra ten percent is my sitting in agony 


blackoutwidow  asked:

Hi there! I've been reading your posts about working in publishing, and I was wondering if you had any tips about the actual process of applying to entry-level jobs? Is there a way you've found that makes a resume or cover letter stand out? I've spent a lot of my time doing internships for publishers, but it feels like I'm just sending a resume into the void. I'm preparing to graduate in December, so I feel rushed, haha. If you can get to this, thanks for your time!

[Obviously I’m answering this a little late, but still …]

I always get a lot of questions about breaking into publishing. This post is a great gateway to many of my earlier posts about publishing, breaking in, etc.

I love this question about resumes, because I’m sure it’s something everyone struggles with (I have!). As someone who does hire and who reviews resumes on the regular basis, here are a few thoughts. These are personal to me, obviously. All managers and HR departments have different spins on what they want. (Related, it’s important to note that for most entry-level jobs I don’t see a resume unless it successfully makes it through my HR department first. I can’t speak entirely to how an HR manager reviews a resume; I’m sure they have their own benchmarks … and they often customize these based on what the person hiring is asking for.)

Assume these comments generally apply to entry level/editorial assistant jobs (someone with little or no publishing experience and probably right out of school). Also assume these are my personal opinions; every person hiring has different quirks.

- No typos, misspellings, mistakes. If you are applying for an editorial job (and, frankly, any job) an obvious error is an automatic no.

- No salary requirements. Sometimes you are asked for these in a cover letter. Don’t put them on your resume unless asked (for some reason). Most entry-level jobs come with a pretty firmly fixed salary. You’ll just get yourself in trouble.

- No need for cute. Personally, I don’t care all that much if you love dogs and walks on the beach. Maybe others do?

- Clean and well organized. Please no colors, funky fonts, etc.

- Focused. College (and grad school, if applicable) history, key jobs and internships. Piles of years-old or non-or-semi-relevant information doesn’t appeal or help me and usually tells me the resume needs the filler and/or the applicant doesn’t understand what’s interesting or relevant to the job. Don’t write an essay about every single task at each job, etc. 

Every job you’ve ever had since middle school, every club you’ve ever been a member of … don’t need it. HOWEVER, if there are unique things you have done that demonstrate leadership, organizational skills, passion, etc. please do note them. 

- Experience/choices that illustrate your interest in the field. This used to be a much bigger problem in publishing/children’s books: people who wanted ANY job in publishing, but didn’t particularly care if it was children’s/YA publishing. These days so many more people truly want kids’ books, but try to craft your resume to show your interest in that particular job and industry. If it doesn’t seem clear, figure out how to address it in your cover letter. 

- BUT, be varied and interesting. It can be awesome if you studied something other than English/writing/publishing. It can be awesome if your work experience isn’t exactly only about books or publishing. I’m looking for interesting, smart, focused, and organized applicants. Craft your experience so I can see how that varied experience will help you in a publishing job.

- BUT, try not to be a fan. I’m hiring you for a job that requires discretion and professionalism (as all jobs do). I love when people love books and authors, but think about the ways you express those passions in a resume and cover letter.

- Endless internships. This is a very personal red flag for me, but the last time I hired a new assistant I was constantly asking HR why some resumes had SO MANY internships (and no jobs) on them. (Though obviously even worse if you’ve jumped from job to job to job.)

Have you had internship after internship (after internship)? Internships (especially in publishing) can be hugely important. Sometimes that reflects an investment in the business … sometimes that reflects that you have a ton of contacts who still don’t want to hire you. Think about what those summer choices mean. Did you go from place to place? Did you return consistently to one opportunity? Have you had six internships but never had a job? Everyone has a different reason for their history. Just think about what all of those experiences—added together—say about you to a potential employer. Think about the narrative of your choices on paper and if you advance to an interview.

- Publishing courses/degrees. PERSONALLY, these don’t matter very much to me when I hire. It really varies from manager to manager. Don’t freak out if you don’t have a publishing degree.

- Social media. This has nothing to do with a resume, but it’s relevant to a job search. One of the first things I do with every semi-interesting resume/applicant is Google, check Facebook, etc. It’s well advised to think about your (publicly visible) social media profile when you’re in a job hunt (and, frankly, forever after). Lots of drunken selfies? Lots of questionable tweets? Lots of mean Goodreads reviews of books I published? Shut them down.

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

Edited on March 7 to add: I clearly missed that specific things were said, and that is not okay. Authors–all authors–are very much human and deserving of our respect and kindness. My apologies.

But I very much believe in the spirit of my original post … we’re in this together. We’re all people, real people, and collaborators. No matter what side of the desk you sit on. 

* * *

In publishing-universe news, yesterday the Life in Publishing tumblr was shut down permanently, and the account deleted.

This anonymous blog by a (presumably female) publishing insider typically featured cheeky observations about the publishing world (including, yes, author behavior). Based on content, I’d always assumed its mastermind worked in children’s/young adult publishing.

The end came when an author successfully identified the person behind the blog and emailed—to her work address—an angry J’Accuse-letter threatening to reveal her to the public and to her employers. Among the things the accuser found condemnable: jokes about summer Fridays and gentle ribbing about blog tours. You know, really terrible stuff that no one should ever be forced to endure in gif form.

I got to read Life in Publishing’s final post—including the author’s letter to her—in the brief time it was still live. One of the comments, including many from supportive authors said, “this is why we can’t have nice things.”

This makes me super annoyed, but mostly it makes me sad. Life in Publishing’s posts had become infrequent, but when the blog was really active it was FUNNY. And pretty insightful. And, truly, quite gentle. We all know what mean gossip looks like, and this was not it.

We all—editors, authors, agents, publicists, marketers, salespeople, designers, etc.—work really, really hard. We work in a business that runs on talent and passion and sometimes very intense emotion. If you can’t have a sense of humor about all of this, well, you’re in for a pretty miserable ride.

There is no us/them. The greatest successes I have experienced are forged through collaboration, imbued with understanding, and maintain A SENSE OF HUMOR.

I’ll miss you Life in Publishing – whoever you were.

We need to have a talk:

I don’t understand why there has to be so much difficulty and strife between authors and publishers/agents/editors.

We’re all in the same field.

We’re the roots, trunk and leaves of a tree in a forest that is starting to die.

I don’t understand why there has to be all of this pettiness. Sometimes, I see authors on here ranting and raving about agents and gatekeepers and rejections and they’re filled with so much vitriol and jadedness and it’s horrible.

There are so much more dire things going on with the future of the publishing industry and books and literacy in general to have time for having adult slap fights.

There is so much more at stake than ever before when it comes to performing all of the tasks one has to do to make a book successful. From marketing a finished product, to choosing which queries to respond to; everyone is trying to make enough money to live–while at the same time producing a product that actually cuts it in this ruthless intellectual economy. 

So, yes, fellow authors. Our dreams and joy and in some cases, life’s work, are attached to the idea of that happy “1980’s style” publishing journey where things were apple pie sweet. But we need to let that shit go. Our forest is dying around us, and people are stressed as fuck and freaking the hell out. 

In regards to the Life In Publishing fiasco: I would hardly consider someone venting the stress of working under such circumstances a personal attack. Especially when the OP has gone to such trouble to preserve anonymity. 

No one should be made to feel terrified about the security of their job and livelihood over something like that. Someone shouldn’t have the ability to pay their rent and afford food and to work somewhere they love snatched away from them just because you’re “annoyed” at them.

People are walking around acting like there is some sort of justifiable “war”  between authors and agents/publishers/editors and its the most ridiculous thing I’ve seen in a long damn time. I’m talking middle school long time ago, okay. 

So, can we just cut this shit out and work together and be more forgiving of each other? Buckle down and be nice to each other during this time of such difficulty?

We’re all here for the same reason:

Because we love books so fucking much and we care about the future of this industry.

Lets act like it. 

We can do better. 

“Don’t rewrite someone’s work how YOU would have written it. That isn’t editing. Editing is bringing out the best of the story in line with the author’s voice, tone and goal.” - Amanda Pillar 

I have seen too many non-professional people who fancy themselves to be editors (and a couple of pro editors) fail at this very thing. Not to mention editors confusing ‘editing advice’ with ‘emotionally abusing a writer.’ If your editor - after you get back rewrites and notes - makes you feel like you want to write less, sweat bullets over the idea of writing, stress out about writing ‘right’ or feel like the process of creating is becoming only more and more painful over time, ditch them, and ditch them fast. Not everyone gets notes they like (that is the point of editing, after all), but you always have the right to reject anything that doesn’t click, and you should always walk away from a collaboration with an editor feeling stronger, not weaker.

I’m very fortunate that I got to interact with professional, lauded editors of great projects at university, and then later on in life as I pursued varied professional projects. All in all, I’ve probably met about 20-30 editors over the years, and I’ve learned much, including what a good editor won’t do to you or your work. I’ve had the privilege to work with professional editors on different published works (from poetry, to short stories, and now onto novels - some award winning and nominated) and I know how this process is supposed to go. I’ve seen too many authors and authors-who-don’t-know-better get crushed by people who believe they know best for a story and really don’t. 

Remember - You always have the right to ask for a new editor at a publishing house if your visions don’t mesh (and they won’t always). You always have the right to pull your work from an editor if they are destroying your work (it does happen, and I’ve recently seen one publisher in particular begin to fall apart because of this). A relationship with an editor should be collaborative. The editor needs to be consummately respectful of the author’s concept of style, execution. Ultimately an editor is there to assist a writer in the writer’s own work, not sneak their own voice and style into someone else’s work. The latter is not making a work stronger, but making it into something twisted. The true collaboration is when two people come together to make the original story shine in the way the author always intended it to, and the editor knows exactly what to bring to make that happen. 

An editor who insists brutality is key is not a professional. They go against most codes of ethics in many editing organisations in the world. An editor who uses abusive language is not a professional. An editor who tells you ‘this is how real editing is’ when they aren’t a member of an Editing Society and do not have an Editing Degree and don’t have any published books behind them is grandstanding. They are also lying to you about what the editing industry is like. Don’t believe me? Ask an editor affiliated with a Society with multiple published books behind them. An editor who is proud of their ability to be brutal above and beyond respecting the author’s voice, is an editor who enjoys the feeling of being right (whether or not they are) above respecting your creative work and passion.

If you tried to write the equivalent of a rose quartz, and your editor insists you need to be writing the equivalent of a smokey quartz - do yourself a favour, get the fuck out. 

1D Hiatus: Day 255

* Niall posts a picture on Instagram

* Hollywood Life publishes an article about Harry talking about One Direction ‘very fondly’ to the 'Dunkirk’ cast and crew

* Louis is happy to be back in England

* Lou Teasdale posts a picture on Instagram and tags the boys and the OTRA crew, Louis likes the picture

* NASA’s Robonaut’s Facebook posts a picture of a framed photo of Harry on set of the 'Drag Me Down’ music video and the rainbow mug he was holding

* A picture of Niall at the Encore Beach Club in Las Vegas three days ago comes out

* It’s been a year since Louis promised us via Twitter that the boys will come back after the hiatus

It’s Aug 24th, 2016.


OK! i was debating this for actually a really really long time before i decided to just GO FOR IT! i was super reluctant to do this mostly because i wasn’t sure how many responses i’d get, but i do kinda need money so i’d like to earn some! as a lot of people already know, i’m going into college in a week and, as pretty much everyone knows, it is EXPENSIVE. my mom and sisters have been so incredibly supportive of me and i’m SO grateful, but i’d like to not rely on them as much as i have been. please keep in mind that these are not emergency commissions and i do not urgently need money. however, school costs are staggering, even with financial aid, and though i am applying, i do not yet have a secure job. any dollar counts, since that is just one more meal for me!

i’ll start by opening up 3 slots, just do see where it goes from there.

will do (pluses mean for an extra charge, highly depends on the situation):
fanart,  ships,  ocs (with photo references),  animals/pokemon,  simple mech,  mild gore,  +backgrounds,  +basic animation (blinking, walking, talking, etc),  +slight nudity,  talksprites,  fursonas,  etc. PLEASE don’t be afraid to ask if you’re not sure if i’ll be willing to do something for you.

will not do:
explicit nsfw/nudity,  anthro,  excessive gore,  complex mech,  complicated designs in static pixels (this is for your own good!),  complex animation,  any image portraying incest/pedophilia/racist imagery/otherwise sensitive material

thank you for reading and possibly considering commissioning me!! if you want to inquire, feel totally free to contact me via tumblr, facebook, or skype (gayaradia)! commissions will be via paypal only. i’d also really appreciate a signal boost, but don’t feel pressured! :0

What Silence in Publishing Really Means

The dreaded silence. Everyone who has submitted a project to an agent, or works in the business knows about silence.

Here’s my guide to what silence from agents really means and why you shouldn’t jump to conclusions:

1. We haven’t read it

This is the most common reason. If you’re nudging an agent after 4 weeks and you think, “4 weeks! They’ve had it forever! They must have read it by now.” Honestly, for an agent, 4 weeks is not a lot of time. Depending on the time of year those can be a busy 4 weeks of client deals, conferences, editor lunches, proposal writing, pitch writing, and client manuscript editing. I’ve talked about this before–that client work comes first–but if you think about it: reading a manuscript takes 4-6 hours for me. That means if multiple clients send me their work AND I have multiple unsolicited manuscripts on the go, that’s at least 24 hours of reading I have to do at any given time. Plus all those emails to respond to…

2. We’re thinking

I genuinely try not to take too long to think because my reaction to unsolicited manuscripts is often instant. However, there are some times I think about the following:

  • Timing (do I have time to fit in a new client?)
  • Editorial notes (how do I really feel about this and should I write up notes?)
  • Gaps in my client list (do I have something too similar?)

I know how writers feel about waiting (checking email multiple times a minute) when they are waiting for a response. But I think you want us to make a fully informed decision. And sometimes that means waiting for weeks while we clear our schedule to make time to think!

3. We’ve read it, but we’re sharing it with other people

This is more common with editors, but sometimes I’m waiting for a reader’s report which is an in-depth analysis of the manuscript from an editorial point of view. So not only is there reading involved (the 4-6 hours) PLUS there is an extra couple hours to get thoughts together and write up a report. That’s a whole day’s worth of work, right there. Once I get a report in hand, which can be 3-10 pages, I go through everything carefully and compare the thoughts against mine. I want books that connect with people, so those reports are important to me. It’s a subjective business, so those other comments are valuable, but I always make my own decisions at the end of the day.


Remember 9 times out of 10, silence means it hasn’t been read yet. So forget those fears and try to be patient. (I know that’s a tall order.)