INTERN went out to the plant store and bought herself a fern the size of a smart-car to fill the post-internship space in her life, and is feeling ready to take on the world. She is naming the fern "Head Ed" and will be taking assignments from it (envelope-licking and such) whenever necessary. Techie Boyfriend is a little concerned, but seems to buy INTERN's argument that she has to cope however she can.
Right now "Head Ed" is telling INTERN to write a round-up of Things Learned About Publishing before going on to write new things. So, anxious to please her new boss, here it is:
Round-Up of Things Learned About Publishing
1. On her first day of interning, INTERN was shocked to learn that the acquisitions editor listed in Writer's Market does not necessarily always exist.
2. Editors can and will check the sales figures of your previous books. Fools who tweak their numbers get pitied. And not just by INTERN.
3. Getting a book deal is 10% reason for celebration is 90% reason for nervous breakdown.
4. It's not enough for a book to be good—it has to be a good fit for the publisher (and the publisher's boobs.)
5. If you want to publish a memoir, merely having an interesting life is not enough—you also gotta write good, and stop talking about yourself so dang much.
6. That no matter how brilliant you think your title is, the overlords in marketing know better.
7. That all sorts of things like gift books and journals can and do get cranked out in-house in, like, fifty-five minutes. Counting pee breaks.
8. That in fiction, emotional truth trumps literal truth every time. Write from the heart, folks—not from memory.
9. Authors get discovered all over the place—in magazines, on the radio, in the elevator—not just in the slush or agented submission pile.
10. That no matter how true your story is or how extravagant your promotion plan, what matters at the end of the day is the quality of your writing. Oh, and good timing doesn't hurt either.
What's that, 'Head Ed'? You want some coffee? Cream or sugar? Both? And some water from that spray bottle?
INTERN must run now. Urgent duties. Good day!