December 5, 2011, 8:33 am
“Mr. Shipman” is the alias for a dynamic VP at a publishing house who has also taught courses in writing and publishing. His younger self, however, might not have regarded the path to his current success as unimpeded as it now appears in retrospect: “I’m pretty sure my full-time starting salary in 1985 was an alarmingly low $11,000. (So much for the go-go 1980s). Editorial assistants have always been underpaid (and I was used to regarding a chintzy TA stipend as a ‘salary’) but what the hell? Almost 20 years of education and I was making little more than $5 an hour??? Luckily, my wife, a very smart and hard-working woman, was doing quite well, and within a few years I was earning like an adult, but it’s hard to imagine that I’d have been able to stay in the publishing business (based in expensive cities such as Boston and New York) without such support.
As an E.A.,…