Thursday, April 26, 2007

An Editor Leaves

This week we say good-bye to a good one. An editor I have worked with on a number of different projects and someone I think is truly talented, smart, and an asset to the publishing community. The really sad thing is that this editor is not just leaving a publishing house, but the business altogether. Why does it seem that the ones who leave are always the best? Since I started my career in publishing almost 15 years ago I have seen the loss of so many great and talented editors, people who, for one reason or another, felt burned out, needed a change of scenery, or just didn't think the job was a passion anymore.

While I think this happens in every business, I feel the loss more deeply in publishing. Editors are, strangely enough, often treated as the bottom of the food chain at publishing houses. They get paid the least, get the least amount of recognition, and editorial departments are often deemed the least important department within the publishing house. How ironic since publishers wouldn't have a product if it weren't for the talented editors who bring it to them.

I don't know all of the reasons this editor has decided to leave and, truthfully, it's none of my business. I do know, however, that she is leaving a hole in publishing. She will be missed by the authors who have benefited so greatly from her talents and I will miss her because in all things she was always a pleasure to work with.



Spy Scribbler said...

That is such a shame. I've noticed that about talent, in other professions, too. I wonder if the best just give so much, that they burn out?

BookEnds, A Literary Agency said...

That's an interesting perspective spyscribbler. But I would like to think that at BookEnds we're the best ;) and no one has yet to burn out

Although, in becoming agents we have made career shifts. Maybe that's the secret.


Anonymous said...

If they're deemed the least important department, there's only so much "put down" you can take. Maybe it's stress, or being passed over, or watching the new people come in and get paid more than you do, when they do less. It happens in a lot of jobs, and I'll bet publishing is no different.

So if the editorial department is seen as least important, which one is seen as most?

Christina Wible said...

Within the past year I've left a job that seemed was meant for me. I was more than competent at it, in fact, that was the question everyone asked of me. Why would you leave? You were the best we've ever had. But the job ate my soul. I was so engaged that everything else became subservient. To this day I'm not sure what else I did during the time I had that job. I realized that I had dissappointed many by leaving but I had to regain my soul. Perhaps this perfect editor needed to be something else.