Pub Rants

Technology Woes

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STATUS: Network nightmares. You don’t want to talk to me right now. Despite being nice, I might actually snap at you.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? Ray Charles piped in over the speaker. Can’t tell you the title of the song though. He’s awesome regardless of which song.

Sorry folks. It’s not going to be a real blog today. My office computer network went down this morning and it’s still not fixed. Of course that drives me insane since everything happens by email. Almost everything. I did actually pick up the phone today. Gasp. How old-fashioned.

Just kidding.

So you’re probably wondering how I’m making this entry happen? Via my happy local Starbucks. I actually wanted to use the free wifi on the 16th street mall in downtown Denver but my computer was being ornery and wouldn’t connect to that network.

As to what happens to editors over the age of 35? Lots of things.

Publishing is tough. Long hours. Low pay. Tons of reading, which can strain the eyes. Editors really have to be passionate to stick with it.

Lots leave after a couple of years in the trenches. Many are promoted to positions where acquiring still happens (such as an Editorial Director) but mostly the job entails management.

Some editors leave to flip over to the dark side known as agenting.

Big smile here.

Some become editors-at-large so they can take more control over their projects and their lives.

Some move into other aspects of publishing.

Some actually retire after many fab years in the business.

Don’t worry. We don’t put them down after 35.

11 Responses

  1. Sallymannder said:

    I’m new to the world of blogging (hard to believe, I know), but I’m already addicted. I try to keep my computer time focused on writing but I find myself constantly checking for Kristin’s blog…at unpredictable times of the day. Then, of course, I keep checking for new comments, which continue coming in until bedtime. There’s no end to the fun. I no longer watch TV, just read blogs. I must become more disciplined.

    Thanks for the helpful information, and also the entertainment, Kristin.

  2. Lexie Ward said:

    I had to rush to my local Panera Bread (a Starbucks type place with more food and free wi-fi) last week when my DSL went out on me, so I totally relate.

  3. MTV said:

    Actually, it seems like there was a large number of editors that either retired or were forced out in the mid-nineties when huge amounts of industry consolidation, mergers and acquistions occurred. I actually personally knew a few. Of course there has been a never- ending stream of younger people to replace them. It strikes me that agenting became more popular after this industry restructuring took place. Most of the conglomerates in the industry today depend on agents to assist in acquiring suitable publication material. In the late eighties and early to even mid-nineties a savvy writer could shoot a query “over the transom” i.e. sent cold in the mail, and be taken seriously. As we all know now, not anymore. Now basically this work has been “farmed out” to agents.

    Certainly, the low wages and overwork do contribute to burnout in the industry. Of course agents have more control over this.

    By the way, this also in a way, shows why Kristin is so successful. She is really good at both identifying what her editorial contacts are looking for in terms of topic and voice and also has a great sense of readership interest, especially in the genres that interest her most. And, her genre base is keeps broadening! With the industry currently structured as it is the business prospects can be huge.

    Oh, and I should mention that Kristin works hard and that work does pay off!!!

  4. katiesandwich said:

    Hey, thanks for the link to Lit Soup! I’m adding Ms. Rappaport to my daily reading list, as well as my list of agents to query. (And you’re on that list, too, so she’s in good company! 🙂 )

  5. anne e said:

    So what’s an editor-at-large? Do they still acquire? Do they still work for just one company but they do it from home?

    Love the blog and the RA (reader’s advisory–library term) about your client’s books.

  6. Sharman said:

    Well, just my luck. After waiting a few days to give you time to recover from vacation, I emailed my query yesterday. Geez I hope you didn’t get it. I know how totally distracted I am when I have tech problems. I guess I’ll wait 10 days or so then resend it….

  7. Anonymous said:

    It seems that the publishing industry has made excellent use of the rise in the agent population… an extra layer of gate keepers has been inserted between their eyes and the unwashed (read that as ‘unpublished’), freeing their time to pick through what makes it to their desks.

    Is this good? You’d think so. The problem is that we now have an entire strata of folks trying to judge what’s publishable from “hooks” and “pitches”, as they strive to free up their own valuable time. We will all eventually need to use sub-agents to get the go ahead before querying an actual agent.

    I am sure that I will now be shredded for having a less-than glowing opinion of what the publishing industry is morphing into. That’s cool. Just remember that if you are un-published, the odds are stacked mightily against you, and it’s largely dependent on the fact that editors’ and now agents’ time is simply too valuable for you to waste– no matter how good your writing may be. If you can’t sell your book with an interesting paragraph, what good is it?


  8. newkidontheblock said:

    I certainly can understand how you feel about being connected to the internet. I can’t imagine going a day without it.
    I don’t leave the house without my laptop and aircard from sprint. I have been known to get online as a passenger in a car.
    If your like me I highly suggest you obtain an aircard. When your network goes down it certainly will help.


  9. Allison Brennan said:

    Kristin, I write at Starbucks every morning–even though my kids are in school, I need to get out of the house to be productive.

    I’m also intensely paranoid about losing my editor. She and I click. She’s helped me improve tremendously after five books, nearly six books. She’s nearing 35. I hope this is just an old wives tale . . .

    FL, I understand your frustration, but remember–nearly every published author has been rejected by agents and editors alike, and every published author has been unpublished. Some of us very recently. Agents provide more than just getting your work in front of an editor. And still, there are editors who will look at unagented material. So don’t lose hope.