After a few more weeks working as an all-around editor, social media marketer and personal assistant, I am beginning to learn a few ins and outs of the publishing world. After considering the last few weeks I have come to conclude that the publishing world is not much different from the dating world (at least here in New York) and this is why:
As an editor, you can’t spend your nights cooped up at home, endlessly going over manuscripts. If you want to further your career (which I do!) you’ve got to get out there and meet as many people in the industry as you can. This means attending book release parties, signings and any other industry event you can manage your way into. It might be easier to come home from work and jump on that stack of manuscripts you’ve got to read, take notes on or edit – but the rewards of finishing up your work early aren’t nearly as exciting as shaking the hand of an editor at Simon & Shuster (which I did last night) or meeting the Ambassador of Sri Lanka (which I also did last night) and telling them a little about what you do.
As a dater (for lack of a better word) you also can’t spend your nights at home gossiping with your roommate about last weekend’s debauchery and her bewilderment of why the guy she is dating hasn’t called her back after he watched her give her number to another guy – it’s not like they were exclusive (but clearly, not a good idea). It might be easier to pick up a bottle – ok two bottles – of wine and lay around in pajamas chatting while watching reruns of Sex and The City. But this behavior will not promote meeting new people and, more importantly, new investment bankers. Sometimes you’ve got to switch up the pajamas and wine for a pair of peep-toed pumps and a dirty martini to get out there. Expand your horizons and your opportunity!
I’ve also learned a lesson of disillusionment. One day, you get a new manuscript and can’t wait to begin working! The synopsis sounds fabulous – it’s got to be good. The beginning starts a little slow, but you swear it will pick up. Keep reading… still slow. Make a few more notes, reader further… crap. It’s not what I expected.
I am going to compare this let down to men. Yes, we have all been there. You meet a cute guy, he asks you out. He seems smart, not too cocky and is tall enough that you can wear heels when you meet again (thank God). You meet again, have a drink or two and become disillusioned by the whole thing. It turns out he is cocky, because he’s so smart, and can’t stop talking about himself. Great. The synopsis seemed promising, but once you open it… crap.
However, in both cases, you’ve got to finish up (making notes or downing your drink) and move on. Not every manuscript and not every guy will turn out as exciting as they seem, but it’s those few inbetween that do live up to their potential, that make it all worthwhile.