An anonymous GalleyCat reader feels that this blog paints too rosy a picture of the publishing industry, and has plenty to say on the subject. “Many of the books that my house paid big money for have gone to the remainder bin,” this insider begins. “The working conditions at most houses are not great. The pay sucks and most of the employees take advantage of their mental health benefits. The fact of the matter is that most people under 40 do not read very many books and the industry is fiddling while Rome burns.”
“As an editor,” this reader continues, “I can tell you that my occupation does not have a bright future and working in publishing is not for the sane… I love books, but I have to say most people in America do not.” He or she feels that the coverage here has been lopsided, and would like that to change. “There are many people who slave away every day who would like for you to reflect their opinions as well,” says this editor. “We are not the top brass, but we deserve to be heard.”
You know, I could counter by saying that I’ve not only acknowledged the workers’ discontent but expressed a skeptical attitude towards reports of happy workforces. But I recognize that’s not enough for some readers, including this one. The problem is that I can only take anonymous griping so far, and the tipline is a one-way street that prohibits me from entering into a dialogue with those of you who are feeling disgruntled. I’d be glad to have a conversation about this with any of you, and if that conversation (or those conversations) turns into a story, then that’s worth pursuing—and I hope you’ve figured out by now, two years in, that I don’t burn my sources, so you can speak frankly even without the cloak of an anonymous forwarding box. But, honestly, if you’re just looking for someone to vent to, there’s not that much I can do for you.