13 Real Questions I Have Been Asked As Someone Who Works In Book Publishing

by  | October 20

With the glorious rise of Younger, there seems to be a heightened fascination with the book publishing industry—which of course, I love. On last night’s episode, the Empirical gang discovered Youtubers. So sure, the show might be a little behind the publishing times, but I maintain that overall they do a pretty fabulous job portraying (and satirizing) our industry. (Also, are you watching? Everyone should be watching.) That said, I have started to field many Younger-related questions about the publishing industry, for example: “Do you have your own imprint like Hilary Duff?” Ha. Haha. Hahahahahaha. You guysss.

(Related: 7 Things Younger Gets Right About The Publishing Industry)

Anyway, it’s gotten me thinking about all the strange, hilarious, offensive, delightful, and at times deeply troubling questions I get asked when I tell people I work in book publishing. Here are some of my most precious gems from over the years.

1. Why? *grimace*

IDK, why do you spend your days MOVING IMAGINARY MONEY FROM ONE IMAGINARY PLACE TO THE OTHER?? (That’s what finance is right?)

2. Can I send you my manuscript?

Or my brother’s manuscript, or my cousin’s best friend’s manuscript, my 8-year-old son who’s a YouTube sensation’s manuscript… okay that last one I made up but I’m sure it’s happened to someone. I have to say—maybe I just haven’t been in the industry long enough, but I can’t feel jaded or even irritated about this one. Because hello, people are still writing books! That’s a beautiful thing. And frankly, this is exactly what I would ask if I had a novel I slaved over sitting in my desk drawer and happened to meet someone in the industry. Gotta respect the hustle.

3. Like, physical books? 

Amazingly, yes.

4. So do you just read all day?

I wish.

5. Do you hate Amazon?

Okay let’s all calm down.

6. Oh so you’re an editor?

God no.

7. Okay but what do you do

I’m a digital marketing manager, so I try to get people to actually read the books we publish.

8. I don’t get it—how can you be a digital marketing manager for physical books?

I know, I’m challenging the very laws of physics over here.

9. Oh so you do like, social media? 

Sure, if that helps you.

10. Have you read _____?

I will always and forever love this question!!! Ask me about books all day erry day!!!

11. Do you watch Younger?

What do I look like, someone who doesn’t want to ogle Nico Tortorella for an hour every week?? OF COURSE I DO DO YOU EVEN READ ANY OF THE ARTICLES I POST ON FACEBOOK?!?

12. Do you still print actual books or only e-books these days?

How do you walk around in the world without knowing the answer to that question?

13. And my all-time favorite…

And by the way, the house I work at also published the book that Younger is based on, so if you have any further questions about the publishing industry, get yourself a copy from Barnes & NobleIndieBound, or of course, Amazon.

(Featured photo: TV Land)

"Okay but what do you do?"