November 21, 2011, 9:24 am
I ask this question probably six times a month: “So, you want to work in publishing? What do you think a job in publishing is like?”
The bright-eyed students who sit, smiling, across from me in my over-stuffed, over-heated basement office will spin tales where the act something they refer to as “lunches with writers” figures largely. They’ve collected impressions of what life as an Editorial Assistant is like from reading dour novels by young authors, watching Sex and The City or Mad Men, and from movies so old their characters are still permitted to smoke indoors.
I believe it’s part of my job to help them understand what their futures might hold.
But of course, I listen to them first. The most honest ones explain, sotto voce, that they only want to work publishing until their own writing “takes off.” They believe that a job at a magazine, trade publishing house, academic press…