Authorial Misdemeanors - Agent Richard Curtis There seems to be a law of nature that the quality of a manuscript declines in inverse proportion to the elaborateness of its package. When I receive a manuscript bound by brass screws with a plastic embossed cover, lovingly wrapped in chamois cloth, set in a velvet-lined cedar box, shrink-wrapped, packed in turn in a fireproof strongbox secured with iron bands, I am prepared to stake my career on the likelihood that this book is one colossal dud.
So your agent has finally found a sympathetic editor for your wondrously impatient manuscript? And they work at a major publishing house, imprint, or press. Now you think you're in tight? Whooo! Think again . The obstacle course has just begun. Your credentials and manuscript are facing the gauntlet of THE PUB BOARD! The what? A group of chair-bound editors and professional types at the press who down or up their thumbs for the stack of proposals sitting in front of them ; and it varies from place to place, but more often than not, the pub board meets once a month. They include the specific editor who is a fan of your manuscript, of course, but what about other players and professions? Let's back up for a second. Pre-pub board editorial meetings can occur for the purpose of winnowing forth the absolute best proposals , thereby giving the editors a running start before sales and marketing weigh in to potentially cast doubts. And let's face it, if this group of edi