Posted by Marian Lizzi
I just had the pleasure of editing a very funny new manuscript based on the website FMyLife.com, which collects painfully honest snapshots of life's awkward, embarrassing, or otherwise disappointing little moments, submitted by readers around the world. If you haven't seen the site, I encourage you to check it out (and I hasten to mention that it's often a teensy bit NSFW.) (And if you don't know what NSFW means, then maybe it's best to just skip the whole thing.)
In the spirit of F My Life World Tour (coming from Perigee next June), I humbly present this list of FML entries from the point of view of a hypothetical book editor. That's right, they're composites—inspired by real moments experienced by me and some of my peers, but...edited a little.
With no further ado...
Today, a book that I turned down appeared on the bestseller list. For the fifth week in a row. FML
Today I read yet another proposal that misspelled the word foreword. It was a proposal for a writing guide. FML
Today one of my authors turned in his manuscript. He met the contracted delivery date—but doubled the word count. FML
Today I looked at some financial reports, and I was reminded that the profitability of my books often seems to be inversely proportional to the amount of time I spent editing them. FML
Today, I mentioned to a friend that I'm thinking of buying some new bookshelves. She replied, "I love bookshelves—but I never know what to put on them." FML
Today, I loaded seven proposals onto on my jump drive to read at home in the evening, in advance of our editorial meeting in the morning. Then I left it on my desk. Along with the key to my locked office. FML
Today I heard someone in the industry use the phrase “dead-tree editions.” Without being ironic. FML
Today we heard that an account was passing on one of our titles. The reason: “It has too many words.” FML
Today I turned down three collections of children’s poetry. We don’t publish children’s books. Or poetry. FML
Today, a major newspaper gave one of our books a rave review. And misspelled our imprint’s name. FML
I’d love to hear your publishing-related FMLs (I think…). Comment below, or email me at Marian.Lizzi@us.penguingroup.com. I’ll share the best ones (that aren’t NSFW, of course).