Where have the George Putnams, Charles Scribners, Maxwell Perkins and Ken McCormick’s gone? Alas, it appears they have been merged into corporate empires that seem to view their publishing subsidiaries with limited financial potential, thus not worthy of the cost of seasoned editorial personnel.
If you find that shocking, consider these views of Jeff Kleinman, one of the founders of Folio Literary Management in New York. He advises authors who are submitting book proposals that will be forwarded on to prospective publishers to keep these points in mind. In most cases, he explains, editors and publishers are very young, often in their 20s or 30s. So you need to consider using charts, side bars, graphics, keeping it as interactive as possible as well as to make it look interesting on the page. One must remember that the editor reading it was raised on TV, so he/she may have a very short attention span. Nor, are current editors that great at connecting the dots, meaning that you should try to make everything as concrete as possible.
As you can see from Mr. Kleinman’s remarks, the stark reality of the current publishing industry may be vastly different from the time honored view of a kindly, pipe smoking older gentleman, with plastic collars protecting his shirt cuffs from ink smears. One who was willing to take the wheelbarrow full of scribblings of a Thomas Wolfe and turn them into a ‘Look Homeward Angel’. The present incarnation of editors and their corporate managers would appear to be much more interested in the bonus system available to those who keep the bottom line in the blue.

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