Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Carolyn on the lack of meritocracy in the publishing industry:

I’m seeing an alarming trend lately of friends of mine leaving book publishing. Alarming for whom? . . . We [in publishing] found that experience and education did not give us a leg up in an industry that starts everyone at the bottom and where who you know is more important than what you know. We realized there’s no way we could ever afford to pay off our student debt or rent a decent New York apartment with our measly, stagnant salaries.

So, alarming for whom? Not the publishing companies. They’ll fill our spots at the bottom of the ladder with other clueless graduates willing to slave away as overqualified and criminally underpaid peons.

As I've said before, this is bad for the industry. It not only narrows the range of perspectives held by those deciding what is published, it also means the most capable people are unable to rise to the top. I honestly believe, however, that these chickens will come home to roost.

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