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07 March 2006

Publishing examined

Those who essentially write for a living will often find that their troubles and travails are not unique, no matter the nature of their resulting works. The author and truly old-school (in the best of ways) newspaperman James Lileks has summed up the process of birthing new products in such a manner as deserves full quotation.

Publishing is such a stupid, stupid business. Not the people in publishing; they’re smart and funny and a pleasure to be around. But the business itself – it’s like designing elephants that give birth to small cars. No one knows quite how to go about it, but when they go to the zoo and see elephants and walk down the street and see small cars, they figure they must be doing something right.

Something to consider as one descends daily through the seven levels of editing and coordination hell….