Friday, February 25, 2011
With a cover like that, we knew we needed to read it. Our industrious editor hunted down a copy of the book and it has been passed from desk to desk ever since.
What can we say? It lives up to the hype.
Things we learnt from reading The Girls in Publishing:
Cigarettes and whisky are acceptable during editorial meetings. Cover designers prefer hashish.
Every girl in publishing should own at least one pair of "mint-green lounging pyjamas".
If only we had husbands who were so supportive of our careers: "There was nothing about her, he thought with a deep flush of pride, that indicated she'd been working."
If you're a boy - sorry, man - in publishing, don't be afraid to turn on the charm. Say your associate editor appears at your cubicle. Why not ask her: "What can I do for you, Diana? Lunch, dinner, a moonlight picnic by the East River when your husband is conveniently not around?"
Age-appropriate dating is important: "Forty-six was hardly an age even the most liberated woman's handbook would consider ideal to attract a virile thirty-five-year-old man, much less be his wife."
It's the little things that keep the romance alive: "He noticed that she was wearing a gold pin he'd given her when they first started screwing."
In 1974, "cutting and pasting" involved real scissors and actual glue.
Agents ain't what they used to be: "Foster was a slimy, cigar-smelling, toupee-wearing man who would demand payment in bed for anything he did ... He was the best agent in the business."
Contracts were a lot messier back then too: “… the usual ten percent commission - plus one evening a week screwing until he got bored.”
Beware the notorious PUBLISHING BLACKLIST. Disgrace yourself too badly, girlie, and you'll never wield a blue pencil in this town again.
If you sleep with your boss and he dumps you, wearing a “tight lace bodysuit” to work is a sure way to regain his professional respect: “She wasn’t wearing a bra either, he noticed.”
Sure her publishing-executive husband sleeps around - but really, some women are so cold they have it coming: "'Why do kids love the zoo so much?' she complained. 'Nothing to see but animals.' She shuddered slightly."
If your colleague turns up to a party with a pretty blonde as his date, don’t be afraid to speak your mind - “‘I hear that Scandinavians are pretty sophisticated sexually,’ Kate said, in what she hoped was a cutting voice.”
The girls in publishing have a LOT of sex. But only with colleagues, agents, authors, failed authors and, at a stretch, copyright lawyers. No one outside the industry, ladies: publishing is a closed shop.