In publishing-universe news, yesterday the Life in Publishing tumblr was shut down permanently, and the account deleted.
This anonymous blog by a (presumably female) publishing insider typically featured cheeky observations about the publishing world (including, yes, author behavior). Based on content, I’d always assumed its mastermind worked in children’s/young adult publishing.
The end came when an author successfully identified the person behind the blog and emailed—to her work address—an angry J’Accuse-letter threatening to reveal her to the public and to her employers. Among the things the accuser found condemnable: jokes about summer Fridays and gentle ribbing about blog tours. You know, really terrible stuff that no one should ever be forced to endure in gif form.
I got to read Life in Publishing’s final post—including the author’s letter to her—in the brief time it was still live. One of the comments, including many from supportive authors said, “this is why we can’t have nice things.”
This makes me super annoyed, but mostly it makes me sad. Life in Publishing’s posts had become infrequent, but when the blog was really active it was FUNNY. And pretty insightful. And, truly, quite gentle. We all know what mean gossip looks like, and this was not it.
We all—editors, authors, agents, publicists, marketers, salespeople, designers, etc.—work really, really hard. We work in a business that runs on talent and passion and sometimes very intense emotion. If you can’t have a sense of humor about all of this, well, you’re in for a pretty miserable ride.
There is no us/them. The greatest successes I have experienced are forged through collaboration, imbued with understanding, and maintain A SENSE OF HUMOR.
I’ll miss you Life in Publishing – whoever you were.