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Thursday, June 11, 2015

when high school never ends or why romance is a small world

so a friend of mine had a pitch session at RT with an editor from a press I really know nothing about.

Apparently, the pitch didn't got quite as planned, with the editor saying the book wasn't really for them before the pitch was over. No harm no foul. An editor needs to know what their house is looking for, and no one wants to waste their time.

That's not the high school moment here.

The high school moment comes from another editor from another house sitting nearby and laughing at the pitching author in a mean girl sort of way because they knew, and don't particularly like, one another. Mind you, my friend has never published with, or spoken poorly of, this editor or her house, so she's a little confused as to why this person seems hell bent on disliking her, but that's the way the world works, right? People sometimes just don't like you.

Okay, so here's where I get grumpy. This isn't high school. This isn't a coffee klatch. This was a professional person representing her publishing house at an industry convention. So where does she get off pointing and laughing so obviously that everyone else in the room was truly uncomfortable?

Back in the early days when there were about four epublishers, we used to sit around and remind each other that romance was really a tiny world. That we couldn't dish on anyone because it was bad business. I got burned badly once by blurring the line between friendship and publishing, in fact, so much so that I never discussed my publishing with an author friend ever again.

I think that as industry professionals we all need to remember that when we're out there representing our work in a public place, we need to worry about our own shit. No responding to reviews in a crazy way. No hating on other authors and feuding to make ourselves look better. And no taking obvious joy in someone's lack of success in such a malicious way. There are enough readers for all of us, but more than one has told me lately they just want to read, not deal with all this industry drama.

I know I would never work with that particular publisher now, no matter how good they might be, which is something else I'll never know, right? People are people, and we all have bad days, but there's not enough room in my world for such unprofessional meanness.

What's y'all's 2 cents?




Katherine Halle said...

Wow. You would think people would grow up...but you would be wrong. I agree 100% with what you've said here and would extend it to ANY professional world - that kind of behavior is immature and childish and there is NO place for it whatsoever.

Julia said...

It makes me crazy because I've been there. We're all human, we have people we don't like. Never make it someone else's problem.