Monthly Archives: October 2009

Watch Those Fingers!

BiblioBuffet has guidelines for those seeking to submit books to us for review. They are few in number but clearly stated. We don’t review business, self-help, true crime, New Age, or romance. And we do not review self-published or vanity-published books.

Today I received another email from an author, this one loudly bewailing our policy. I politely explained that this woman’s vanity-house publisher precluded our considering her book for review but thanking her for letting us know about it. I even took the trouble to refer to her a couple of places that did review self-published and vanity-published books. 

She didn’t take nicely to my gesture. Ah well, no good deed and all that. Her second email informed me, in rather strident tones, that I was wrong, that her publisher was a “traditional publisher.” She even helpfully provided a long-distance phone number so I could call and ask them.

Now I try to maintain a Zen attitude when things go wrong. I am not always successful, but it does help when I am informed of typos in the new issue (ACK!) or problems with the tech side (groan). I’ll admit I lost a little of my calm at her demand that I make that call.

Fortunately, I have a personal rule that prevents an inappropriate response in certain situations. I allow my brain to scream at me, “Keep your fingers to yourself!” The scream is loud so I tend  to listen to it. In this case, I closed the email for a couple of hours. When I later came back to it I was able to compose a calm, quiet, wonderfully Zen-like response. The author is still not happy, but had I not listened to my brain I might have actually made her miserable. I would certainly have made myself miserable. And perhaps even tarnished the real life as well as the online persona I value so highly.

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To Publish Them Is To Love Them

I love professional writers, I do. Regardless of how busy they are, they never fail to meet their deadlines. They never whine. If they are up until 2:30 am finishing a piece you (meaning me, the editor) never hears about it. They take suggestions well, and turn in their revised copy quickly. And . . . they often come up with the most astonishing ideas.

One of most important things I do as the editor-in-chief is hire the best and then get out of their way. BiblioBuffet’s writers can write about anything they like (as long as it relates in some way to books, reading, or related subjects).

Lauren Baratz-Logsted, a successful author now focusing on YA (Young Adult) books, sent my managing editor and me an email last week. In it, she proposed something absolutely unique. Nicki and I immediately approved it, and today the first of its kind appeared in our e-mailboxes. And it’s just as she suggested, perhaps better. It will likely make its first appearance in about a month and every month thereafter. I think our readers will enjoy it as much as Nicki and I do.

Love ya, Lauren. And thank you!

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