When will publishing stop starving its young people?

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INDUSTRY TITAN On the copyright page of At Olivie Blake’s fantasy novel “The Atlas Six”, readers may notice a faint print line above the ISBN data and below the title. It says: “Edited by Molly McGhee”. In her long section of acknowledgments, the former self-published author and BookTok sensation whose real name is Alexene Farol Follmuth writes, “Thank you to Molly McGhee, my beloved editor, who soothes my!!! and me at all the good times. You have contributed so much more to this book and to my earthly existence than you will ever know.

On March 11, McGhee joined a group of junior and mid-level employees who quit the publishing industry, blaming low pay, unrealistic workloads and burnout. For context: it’s extremely difficult, if not impossible, to live in or near New York (the epicenter of bookmaking) on ​​an entry-level salary. Add in school loans, subtract a second job or an extra grant, and you could be kicked out of a career in the arts before the ink on your college degree has had a chance to dry.

“As some of you may have heard, today is my last day at Tor Books,” McGhee wrote in the resignation letter she shared on Twitter. “My request for promotion has been denied, and as such I am leaving as my first acquisition (Olivie Blake’s marvelous THE ATLAS SIX) debuts at number three on the New York Times Bestseller list.” She continues, “Doing the NYT is a career high for an editor. It’s rare for an assistant to do that, and by all accounts, it should be “a good start” and not a heartbreaking end. »

McGhee also cites “the invisibility of the junior employee’s workload” as one of the reasons she left Tor. As Blake writes in his novel, “We are the gods of our own universes, aren’t we?” Indeed we are. But the gods can’t live on ramen alone.

RELATED OBJECTIVES Maybe Blake and McGhee will consider a partnership like that of Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen? Hendricks edited seven Pekkanen books before leaving Simon & Schuster, where she had worked for 20 years. This week, the authors’ co-authored fourth bestseller, “The Golden Couple,” enters the hardcover novels list at #4. The novel focuses on a dysfunctional marriage and the unorthodox therapist who tries to save him. Hendricks and Pekkanen dedicated this one to their editor, Jennifer Enderlin.

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