So. If you want to get a measure of the condition of the publishing industry, place a job listing on the Editorial Freelancers Association website. If I’m doing this link correctly, they are at www.the-efa.org. If I screwed it up, try to Google “freelance editors” and the EFA will pop up.
I clicked on their website yesterday and placed an ad to find someone to help me do a final prep on my book to get it ready for publishing. Again, unless I’m really wrong, mine is a relatively small job and my ad was simpler than that. The ad hit the EFA site at about 9:30 Central time.
At 12:33 precisely, I was answering the fourteenth phone call from the listing. At 1:15 I started answering the sizty-five Emails I’d received, and an hour-and-a half-later– I had over one hundred still unanswered. Since then, I have spoken to maybe forty amazing people, each an editor and most have been recently released from corporate, or semi-corporate, employment.
I have had very limited exposure to professional publishing people, and personal experience with but two. One of those persons I now consider to be a friend. The other… Well, the other I will write about here to my bloggie when I have doubled my readership.
If you decide to fuck somebody in return of their having fucked you– fuck them back good. Maybe I’ll wait until I triple my readership.
Anyway, I have gotten over 200 responses to my listing, and I tried to filter as many as possible with disclaimers. I think I have replied to each and every one, but maybe I missed some. If I did, I apologize.
I attempted to weed and filter the applicants in advance. I told them in the listing, “You must have a sense of humor; you cannot be easily offended; and you should not be a conservative religious person.”
Here in Texas, if they read and followed that advice, the population of editors would be narrowed by maybe 96.773% of the total editor population. Even assuming that editors in other states are less generally right-wing religious fuckballish than the Texas varieties as a group, and even presuming that editors are less likely to be fuckballs in the first place– I got a large number of responses.
Now. My therapy is focusing lately on me fully disclosing my motives to the people about which I care. It seems I have a tendency to barge through my life, stepping on the toes and hearts of others. Therefore, in an effort to provide full disclosure I want you to know that I chose to place my request for services yesterday for specific reasons. I’m thinking that it’s the big holiday season, so maybe I’ll find someone willing to give me an extra measure of service for my dollar, plus I can help them with a little unexpected holiday cash.
Win/win, right? Of course not. As all the dust is settling, I have more than one editor I want to hire but only one job. Hell, I’ll bet you that of all the people contacting me at least half would do a great job for me, and enjoy working on my crappy writing.
As usual, my attempt to snooker the unsuspecting has snookered me. I tried to gain extra value during this holiday season and I feel guilty. How can I turn anyone away at this time of year? Sounds like a psycho therapy session to me.
But I have a point and here it is. How can the universe continue to produce the same volume of printed words and maintain quality if so many editors have no jobs? What is happening with the printed word without strong editorial influence?
This blog for one thing. Look at the mess that is my work if you can’t envision an edit-free world.
How can you publish a book without strong editing? I know I can’t. I can write this nonsense, but I need considerable assistance to make it a quality product and worth the price. Hell, If I were to charge you to read this shit here to my bloggie, I’d feel responsible to hire an editor for here. Actually, I’d need two if I didn’t do self edit. I read and rewrite this crap twenty-to-thirty times to make it more understandable before I hit the “publish” button on Word Press.
If I had some help, the 250,000 words contained in these blog postings since March, would swell like a finger pinched in a car door and likely exceed a million words. And I’m a hunt-n-pecker typist. Imagine if I took a typing course and hired editors! We’d need a bigger Internet.
The American economy is a total mess. The publishment industry might be messier. Which reminds me to tell you about this one editor who contacted me.
This nice lady was advised by me to look at the website and the bloggie here so that she could get a good feel for what’s what. I got the nicest reply from her. “I’m very sorry Mr. Johnson, but your writing is so dense and convoluted that I doubt I can help you. I don’t feel that I can do a good job for you as your editor. However, my cousin is a psychiatrist in the Austin area, and he specializes in assisting crazy people as they transition from productive lifestyles into high-intensity clinical environments.”
Where did she get the idea I’m productive?
Then there was the other lady who called and told me she was well qualified to be my editor. She says to me, she says, “I have a wonderful sense of humor, I am un-offendable, and my religious convictions will not be a problem.”
That’s precisely what she said.
During our phone conversation, I was getting some reads and tells and other vibes that the nice lady was not quite sincere with me. I tell her, “Why don’t you go check onto my website and read my recent comments about the Pope. Call me back after.”
I didn’t get the call but I did get a nasty-assed Email that, among other things, carefully explained to me that I am a, “Godless heretic and a blight on the American literary landscape.”
I might be a heretic, but I’m a handsome sort and practice immaculate personal hygiene. So fuck her.
Anyway, I want to publicly thank everyone who applied with me and I want to encourage the authors and writers who read this trash of mine to hire editors. Now, I need a Carta Blanca beer or I’ll get all morose and shit and hire all three of my finalists, and send gift baskets to the rest. Manana, y’all.