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Awards for Editors?
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Pod-dy-Mouth writes entertainingly and informatively about self-publishing. Whether she's shining a light on the newest vanity press scam or highlighting a rare success story or pointing out a POD gem, the blog is well worth reading. Which is why I was a bit taken aback by yesterday's entry about a new fiction award for editors, publishers and agents.

What about this tasty tidbit (courtesy of the master of the [publishing] universe, Michael Cader, over at Publishers Marketplace):

-- New York's Mercantile Library is celebrating its devotion entirely to fiction with the initiation of an annual Maxwell E. Perkins Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Field of Fiction, honoring "an editor, publisher, or agent who over the course of his or her career has discovered, nurtured, and championed writers of fiction in the U.S." The first winner is Nan Talese.

What is going on here? We're run out of ways to award authors so now we need to get their editors and agents into the picture? Sounds like a great idea. Let's award someone for taking 15% (and 20% on foreign and film!) of another person's work. Or better, lets give an award to an editor for having the best agent contact list. I mean, c'mon. These people don't produce anything. Even my agent and editor will admit they can't write worth a stone. What next, awarding Sports agents?

I don't know much about agents, except that having one isn't a requirement, so I guess if a writer doesn't think an agent is worth the fee the writer shouldn't hire one. If I were making a living writing fiction, I'd be happy to pay an agent 15% just to avoid having to deal with anything remotely relating to business. (I got an 'A' in my contracts course in law school but if I found contracts inspiring I'd be writing them instead of books)

As for editors being people who don't produce anything, or who can't write, the latter isn't necessarily true and the former is irrelevant. Presumably an editor would be receiving an award for editing which is a totally different function from writing but, judging from my experience as both a writer and reader, almost always necessary. No one should know that better than someone who reads self-published books.

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