Friday, May 7, 2010
On Friction – Not Fiction, Part 2
Ahh, it's Friday. Isn't that a lovely sentence? Time to take a deep breath, sit back in a chair with your favorite beverage and contemplate the change of pace the weekend brings. It's also time to finish a few things and to find surprises. You can start that, here, too.
Today, you can read the rest of Sharlene Martin's essay on the friction in her professional life. (THAT may contain a few surprises in its own right.) However, the official surprise is a gift from our generous guest. She is offering a free copy of Ten Top Tips to Writing a Terrific Book Proposal, an outline to guide the preparation of your proposal. These are the instructions for getting it.
1. Send an email message to Sharlene@MartinLiteraryManagement.com.
2. In the subject line, write "Calling all aspiring writers."
3. In the body of the message, mention that you'd like to get a copy of Ten Top Tips to Writing a Terrific Book Proposal. Please thank her for her essay, as well. (Yes, I'm still taking notes from her comments in part one.)
Ms. Martin, you have our attention:
"As for the editors and publishers, I have been at this for enough years now that I can say from personal observation that publishing house editors who employ sneering condescension tend to be the ones most quickly departed (helpful note: everybody hates jerks). And even a rare publisher who plays fast and loose with the accounting or payment of royalties can no longer hide from today's blogosphere, where a sullied reputation can torpedo an entire publishing imprint.
The narcissism and amorality that have become the hallmarks of contemporary popular culture have bled over from the land of reality TV programming and into the general public. Some of them write to me, just as I am sure that each of you has recent memories of personal encounters with an individual who demanded that which it was yours alone to give, and upon receiving it only resented not getting more; the mindset manifests in my work day in the form of would-be authors , sometimes on the executive side from one who mistakenly believes that a curt attitude and a dismissive tone somehow establish mastery in a relationship. They do so without noticing that their vital business relationships do not last, remaining blind to the fact that colleagues who invest a bit of energy in mutual respect tend to go farther and faster. And yet they think that they are the smart ones. It's only laughable in a rueful sort of way –such behavior simply causes them to dissolve into today's general misconception that the nastier you are, the more "genuine" your response.
But respect is genuine, too. So is honesty and so is the passion to do good work, the best work that you possibly can, while you are in this world. The wonderful men and women whom I am fortunate to call my colleagues are the ones who embody their understanding of that. They are why this line of work is so worthwhile to me and why MLM's motto is and always will be "Considerate Literary Management for the 21st Century."
It is reassuring to know that the publishing world, while far from perfect, still maintains a civil atmosphere. Since we are investing our lives to become an integral part of that world, I appreciate knowing in advance what to expect.
Speaking of "becoming an integral part of the publishing world," I want to remind you that everyone who follows this blog is eligible for a drawing to receive a copy of Publish Your Nonfiction Book. To whet your appetite, why not watch Sharlene's book trailer at http://writersdigest.com/article/publish-nonfiction?
Have a great weekend!