Saturday, December 20, 2008

Put Another Slush on the Fire, Babe, and Come and Tell Me Why You're Leaving Me

I really enjoyed your Kitchen Full of Slush post. I’m curious as to what happens to the piles of slush? Specifically, how do you keep them and respond in chronological order? With that many submissions it seems insurmountable.
That would be telling.
Different houses, different methods, of course.

Perhaps the editorial staff sits down Friday afternoons for a concentrated hour or so of reading, while they pass a flask around.

Perhaps the publisher gets a freelance reader (or readers) to address some (or all) of the slush and pass the good stuff to the editorial assistant, who doles it out among editors according to topic and taste.

Perhaps the interns shovel it into a smallish, forgotten room (whose original use is now lost to memory), and take turns jumping into the pile like school children into autumn leaves.

Or perhaps it's stacked tidily, labeled with the date, and tied with twine into turfs, to await April 31st.


(Ok, I feel the need to explain my title line, for those of you who aren't inveterate muppet fans.)

4 comments:

Marian said...

Perhaps the interns shovel it into a smallish, forgotten room (whose original use is now lost to memory), and take turns jumping into the pile like school children into autumn leaves.

Best figure of speech ever.

It deserves to be the caption to a Far Side-ish cartoon.

Ebony McKenna. said...

These posts are required reading.
(and I also love muppets.)

Jena said...

hey, wait a minute. how do I become a freelance reader?

Editorial Anonymous said...

I figured someone would have that question. In my experience, longtime booksellers are preferred, because they know what's already on the market and they know what sells.

(Teachers and librarians can sometimes have a narrower focus than publishers need in a reader (narrow in terms of age range, for instance) and are sometimes not good at determining what will sell, since they know a great deal about the buying habits of teachers (and the reading habits of children) but not much about the buying habits of parents.)

You could send your resume to a publisher, I suppose, but they'll be looking for someone (a) fairly cheap, (b) with lots of experience in books, and (c) local to their offices (ie, they aren't going to pay to ship the slush to you).