Editor From Hell and the Freedom of Her Absence

Editor From HellLast night, I wrote a really long article about the problems that I’m having with my publisher and “editor.” But I ran it past a good writer friend of mine and she suggested that I not run it. The problem is that it might be used out of context to label me as a difficult writer — a difficult person. I’m not so much worried about that. I have so many editors and publishers to back me up. What’s more, the publisher is so well known for being a truly awful person, that it is unlikely to hurt me.

But there is another issue here: I like to take the high road. And the truth is that this publisher is a very sad person with almost nothing in her life. I don’t actually want to proclaim to the world just how horrible she is and why it is that she literally does not have a single friend in the world. It’s a funny thing when you think about it.

In the past, I’ve done a number of things that I feel very bad about. But I’m generally liked. I have the reputation of being very easy to get along with. Past misbehavior doesn’t much matter, because it is in the past. I used to think that there was something special about me. If a person is not actively annoying me, I have no problem with them. I find it almost impossible to hang onto anger. But what I’ve found is that I’m actually quite normal in this way.

Most people don’t want to be angry. If others turn their lives around, people are very forgiving. They care about what’s happening now. So the fact that this publisher is widely considered an awful person speaks not to past wrongs but to the fact that she continues to be an awful person — day in and day out. You can’t really have a conversation with her; you can only sit and listen to her lecture. This does not go over well with people who are her peers.

The current state of things is that the book will be published. She’s just going to hire an “editor” to do the things that I, as “writer,” will not do. That’s ironic, right? If an editor is doing the work, then how is it the work of a writer? The point of this is to hire this editor and then charge me for it. This shows the mentality of the publisher. I didn’t agree to re-publish this book for the money; I did it because she begged me to. I didn’t want the book published at all.

As it is, the advance for this 200 page, 60,000 word book is $750. And it isn’t even paid all at once. A third is paid on contract signing; a third is paid on book acceptance; and a third is paid on publication. For a first time writer, that makes a certain amount of sense. But for a writer who has already published two books with this publisher? And for a book that is already written? What can I say: this publisher hates books and writers and most other things as well.

But I feel free! I have submitted all the material for the book. She will steal money from me. Eventually, I will have to take her to arbitration, where she will lose badly. Meanwhile, I will have a life with friends and family, and she will be alone with nothing to keep her company but the melodious sounds of Michael Savage’s bigotry wafting through the air.

16 thoughts on “Editor From Hell and the Freedom of Her Absence

  1. It never ceases to baffle me. Some people (myself included) can be callous at times. Others occasionally lash out in frustration then apologize later after it’s out of their system (done that, too.) It’s true bullying that I find puzzling. Because it never seems to satisfy the bullies. At least users of chemicals get buzzed and gamblers occasionally win. Perhaps bullies crave human contact but find normal interactions less of a rush. It could be the equivalent to them of driving racecars.

    God, for $750 I wouldn’t tolerate that abuse over a 200-word essay, much less a full book!

    • Yeah, if I never make a dime on this book, it won’t matter. It will bug me a little that she does. But I don’t care about the money. Then again, that’s the big difference between us: I don’t care about money and she doesn’t care about anything else.

  2. Whenever I hear somebody listening to Michael Savage, I have to resist the impulse to sneak in and cue up Dan Savage instead…

  3. Someone else has to deal with her now. Yay!

    You can move on with your life! YAY!!

    Wait, this was for $750. Well to quote an angry litigant today: “bleep!”

  4. As for most people not wanting to be angry… anger is actually quite addictive, literally addictive, and there is something “satisfying” in releasing anger at an “appropriate” target. This is the appeal of many action movies, revenge stories, police dramas, etc.

    This reaction is not emotionally mature, but it is common.

    If anger wasn’t so enjoyable, would Trump and other GOP candidates have as many followers as they do?

    • Feeling justifiable outrage is very pleasant. But anger (for most people) is something they have to hang onto. It isn’t something that just stays. That’s the appeal of hate radio. Each day is more stuff to get angry about.

  5. Dude. If that’s what you wrote after being advised not to run with the other article, I really want to read the other article. In all honesty my boss is exactly the same kind of person, and there’s nothing to do but let it wash over you, because at the end of the day you can’t hurt her anyway. There’s no such thing as her being wrong in her eyes, so the thing I’d most love to see – a complete BSOD as she realises what an awful human being she is – is never going to happen, because the kind of person she is completely precludes that possibility.

    That said, in your shoes I’d’ve taken great pleasure in going, “Okay, forget it then,” and leaving the book unwritten. But then I’m a fairly emotional person and you, sir, are not.

    • The main thing about the other article is that I mentioned her by name many times. I figure I would have gotten the article in the top ten Google results for her name. Also, I quoted liberally from her absolutely insane email.

      I’m trying to stay out of court with her because she has millions (she’s a landlord) she can spend just making my life miserable. She wants to make the case that I want to hurt her and her publishing company. That’s not true. She just wants to dump more and more work on me. In one of her last emails she claimed that having “call outs” are the company’s “style.” But I have six of her recent publications. Only one of them has “call outs.” And the most recent one (which I wrote the introduction for) has no “call outs.” During the first 24 chapters of my book, there were no “call outs.” It’s just about making work for me. She’s called me a prima donna several times recently. Well, okay. I’m a writer who is in demand enough that I expect to be paid well and treated well. The problem is that she thinks I should grovel and kiss her feet. But I won’t. She wasn’t even my first publisher as she claims. She lives in a fantasy world. And I will eventually publish the original article. I’m just going to wait until the book is out. I’m sure I can only find a couple hundred writers who will back me up. As she told me when she was begging to publish the book, “I’m having a hard time finding books to publish.” What a shock! There are writers begging to be published, but they want nothing to do with her. It must be because they are intimidated by her high level of professionalism.

      • Funny — all the time I’ve read your writing on this person, I think of my landlord. Turns out he and she share an interest — maybe they could get together!

        I’m sure there are good landlords (and my current one’s dad was completely reasonable, if sometimes hard to track down.) However it’s basically a profession that has no real right to exist, and so the temptation must be high to assume you are in that place of privilege because you “deserve” it and others do not.

        Plus there are horrible, lying tenants. Not many, and those that are usually have mental illness issues. Nor do those tenants really lose you any money (you’re still making huge profits overall.) Still, another temptation to turn into a bully. “I trusted this one tenant once and got burned for two grand in damages, I’ve never trusting any of these swine again!”

        • I was once a landlord for a downstairs apartment for my future wife. We had the worst tenants. But we got rid of them, and I took control of finding new tenants. And everything was fine. Mostly, it’s just about paying the rent. A lot of landlords get upset when they are asked for repairs. That’s part of the deal! I don’t think my particular problem person is a terrible landlord, but she definitely has the “lord” part of that title down. I was with her when she was talking to a tenant and she spent about 15 minutes lecturing him about how to run his life. She wasn’t being mean. It was pleasant enough. But it showed that she is one of these people who think that the way they live their lives is the only way. As I’ve said: she’s an authoritarian. Who thinks she’s a libertarian! I’ll bet that Stalin thought of himself as a libertarian too!

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