The feeling is widespread, it seems:

I couldn’t agree more with your comments. After I graduated from college I worked in book publishing for a few years. Rather than get a normal 9-to-5 entry-level job sending faxes and fetching coffee, I stumbled into a handful of projects that let me do relatively high level work specifically, editing book copy on a more or less freelance basis. But it didn’t add up to much income (evidence itself of how highly editing was valued) and I wasn’t on any clear career track. So I had a few people I’d gotten to know in publishing arrange advice sessions for me with about a half-dozen top NY editors. With varying degrees of vehemence, every one of them (including, ironically, Nan Talese) told me to get out of the book industry. One explicitly told me "Book publishing is no place for people who love books." Several of them said that, if they had it to do again, they'd go into another profession.

This was almost 20 years ago; everything I’ve seen and read leads me to conclude it’s gotten considerably worse since then.

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