An Editorial Ass

by Alice

I’m looking for a book about an up-and-coming health trend. It must have a strong enough hook to be on the Today Show a few weeks in a row. The author must be famous, recognized by a swarm of health nuts in his or her diet or disease community. As I said, it must be trendy, but it must not be overdone and worn out. I need a spin on something that’s in. Oh, and it cannot have been published yet.

This is my job. Sounds exciting right? Except for that little detail of me having no clue how to find these books. Every time I find a brilliant new health idea, I can’t find an author. Or I find an awesome author with an awesome idea, and I can’t manage to get my marketers to agree that people will buy it. (Add to that my normal duties of essentially managing the daily affairs of a publisher and 5 editors — the boring stuff that they don’t have time to do — and you have a real image of my job.)

They say getting a book published is hard and that’s why people are self-publishing. Let me tell you, becoming an editor has to be harder. I remember when I started in publishing and I came across Editorial Ass, I decided that I was too good to end up like that, I was too smart, too dedicated, too likable. I would get promoted because I always have.

Two and a half years later, I’ve taken a different tone. I am still smart, dedicated and friendly. When it comes to actually editing, I know what I’m doing. I know when I find the right author, the right topic… it just happens so infrequently. And I can’t help but feel that it’s my fault. If I knew the subject area a bit better, or if I read the right magazines, went to the right nutrition health stores. In short, I’m not sure I can make it in this highly competitive, New York centric business. Despite the fact that I understand balance statements, budgeting, contracts, and (gasp) I can edit.

So you out there with the brilliant health manuscript, you the person who’s always quoted in USA Today about your subject area, tell me how I can find you. Because in the meantime, Editorial Ass has been promoted. And I’m still an editorial assistant trying to prove myself as an editor.

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