Rant Alert!

The New York Times just ran this article Authors To Get Sales Data From 3 Big Publishers. Go read it. I’ll wait.

Two quotes blew off the top of my head. Here’s the first one:

Said Carolyn Reidy, President and CEO of Simon and Schuster:

There isn’t any place where they [authors] can go and get all of their sales figures. [ ] We realized that we can give them the knowledge we have.

I can just see the moment when the lightbulb oil lamp went on in that meeting:

Publishing Professional (PP) #1 (very sad): Our authors are unhappy.

PP#2: (sits up straight, almost knocks over chai latte): What?

PP#3: Oh, come on. Why would authors be unhappy?

PP#1: Well, they’d like to know how their books are selling.

PP#2: Why?

PP#3: But they’ll know in 2 years. What’s the big deal?

PP#4: Well, I’ve heard that about authors, too. I mean, that’s what their agents keep saying.

PP#3: I wonder what we could do about that?

PP#5: What could we do? We already prepare royalty statements TWICE a year.

PP#2: Does anyone have last week’s sales data?

PP#3: I attached the spreadsheet to the meeting calendar. Here’s my paper copy. (pushes across desk)

PP#2: Hey, thanks! Wow. This print is tiny.

PP#1: (Sits up very straight)  Wait a minute! WE OURSELVES HAVE THIS DATA.

PP#3: What’s your point?

PP#1: Well, maybe, just maybe, we could share it with our authors!!!!

(Stunned silence)

(More Stunned silence)

(Someone coughs)

So the second quote is this:

Publishers didn’t realize the frustration that authors have.

Bullshit. It’s even bigger BS that they found an author to say that. Surely, he couldn’t have said it with a straight face.

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3 Responses to “Rant Alert!”

  1. Oh, you are too fabulous Carolyn. I’m just smiling at your rant! I especially love PP#1:

    “Publishing Professional (PP) #1 (very sad): Our authors are unhappy.”
    “PP#1: (Sits up very straight) Wait a minute! WE OURSELVES HAVE THIS DATA.”

    If you ever stage a dramatic reading, can I be PP#1?

    You are so funny.

  2. Yes. You can be PP#1!

  3. SonomaLass says:

    I want to be PP #3. “But they’ll know in 2 years. What’s the big deal?”

    Brilliant, Carolyn!