Knowing the industry

We waited all day yesterday for Giles. Around 3pm I asked the Intern to text him. In fairness, she was none too please with him as she was supposed to have left hours earlier. I told her that if she needed to leave for class that was fine, but she insisted on staying. Giles finally texted back that he wasn’t coming over to Dundee, and that he’d be in sometime during the week.

This morning when I got in he was in the office and in a huff. He’d been there for an hour (supposedly) waiting for everyone, and he was really put out by having to wait. (Later the Intern told me that he gave her a lift into the office this morning and they’d only been waiting about ten minutes when I got there. Patch and MacDraggyFeet arrived shortly after.)

So, the gist of our meeting was this. Giles took on what I’d said about Patch meeting publishers without doing any research or having a clue whatsoever he was doing…sort of. The new rule is that MacDraggyFeet and myself will handle all the clients, with MacDraggyFeet working on non-fiction and me working on fiction. Patch, King of Kings, will work with the publishers.

I explained that that’s not how it works, but he dismissed me and continued. MacDraggyFeet and myself would work with the clients to build their portfolios, work on promoting book tours, acquire new clients, and so on. But, when it’s time to take the manuscripts to the publishers, Patch would do it.

Right. I can understand the division of labour to a certain extent, but if you haven’t been working with a client can you sell him/her to a publisher? And, Patch knows nothing, I mean nothing, about publishing. I spent a long time shadowing Lorainne in sales meetings, doing research and speaking with agents. I spent at least a year reading over old contracts. Does Patch know about Grant of Rights, Subsidiary Rights, and how this is different than Copyright (it’s a pretty obvious difference, but a lot of people don’t know about it)? Does he know how to get a more favourable clause for delivery and acceptance of a book? Because I do. And then there’s the money side, advance, royalties and payment. Does he even know how the selling process works, and how to get a bid started?

He doesn’t. I know he doesn’t because I grilled him in the meeting. Or at least I started to when Giles cut me off. ‘I bought this agency because it doesn’t things differently. Because it is forward thinking. Now you’re telling me that you just want to do things the same old way as everyone else? Try thinking out the box.’

Speechless. I was speechless.

And, but it gets better.

Since Giles wants to ‘think outside the box’ I asked what we were to do about a lot of the new projects we’d been working on before the sale (I’d been continuing on with them) such as pairing new authors with established authors to build the new author’s presence, the author blogs, working with self-published authors on new forms of distribution. That sort of stuff.

He said, ‘I can find no evidence that these tactics will work in this market, so I would ask that you put them on hold until we find sufficient evidence of success.’

‘But the fact the Agency was making money is evidence that it works. And we didn’t just jump into it. We have been researching new forms of publishing. What’s been dying in the field and what’s growing. Paris and London developed a lot of our new work. They have years of experience…’

This time Patch cut me off. ‘I think we should research new forms of publishing. Take the time to look up what’s not working in publishing. What areas are growing.’

‘Great idea!’ from Giles. Then he looks at Intern, ‘Why don’t you head this up. You can make it part of a school project. Get us a report on this.’

The Intern looked at me in a panic. I gave her a nod, and she seemed to look less worried.

I’m going to keep doing what I’ve been doing. I don’t care what Giles says, I’m not going to change my process. I now make a salary, but I’m also getting commission. Plus, if this business tanks, then I have nothing. So, it’s in my best interest to make this company work.

As Giles was leaving the Intern went over and talked to him quietly. I could tell she wasn’t happy with his response.

She came back to her desk, and I told her to not worry about that report he wanted. The former Agency had already done all that research. It was in bits and bobs of paperwork in the shared drive. And when Giles first noted an interest in buying the Agency, we had to put together a ‘strategies and objectives portfolio’. All she had to do was collate it all.

Then she said, ‘Thanks. I appreciate it. I also asked him if I could bow out of this festival over the weekend. I’m really behind in Uni work, and I mean I’m really appreciative for this opportunity. And I don’t want to upset Giles he’s done so much for me. But I can’t fail my courses for this internship.’

My heart went out to her. I swear they’re sleeping together. It’s the way he touches her and the way they interact. But she doesn’t seem too happy with the situation. I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to feel like sex is the only way you can repay someone.

I told her she didn’t have to do ANYTHING she didn’t want to. That she should take the rest of the week of work. And that I’ll sort out the festival. She didn’t have to go.

‘But Giles…’ she started to say.

I knew where she was going with this. I had no say over Giles’ ridiculous decisions. But one person did. MyAuthor. The whole point of going to the festival was to accompany MyAuthor, and this woman was not going to put up with a bunch of silliness. All I had to do was get MyAuthor to tell Giles she didn’t want, or need, to be accompanied by the Intern. And we’re sorted.

The Intern just left. She may be useless, but I do feel sorry for her.

Caught in a lie of omission

Have been waiting for Giles all morning to arrive for the Monday meeting. The Intern said that he texted her saying he’d be late. I hate when people are late but don’t give you a time, because I can’t really get stuck into my work because as soon as I do, he’ll turn up.

So, may as well use this as an opportunity to get you caught up on the worst triple date ever. Continue reading

Walking Office Space

I haven’t been able to blog all weekend and it’s like I’ve had my mouth duct taped shut. Okay, not really. As I typed that I realised that kind of conjured up some sinister shit, and not being able to blog isn’t like being bound and gagged. But, wanted to post, but always had someone hovering over me. I’ll see how much I get through now, but may have to finish tomorrow, and I’ll try to hit the highlights rather than just waffle on.

So, Friday. I was all prepared to talk to Giles about Patch talking to publishers without even doing the most basic background. Had my notes and my points written out so I wouldn’t do one of my rambling freak-out which just ends in my crying ’It’s not fair’. Continue reading

Don’t tell me the meaning of literally

Today has been the most horrible weather, and I need to confront both Giles and Patch on something, but I’m waiting until I calm down before I do it. I’m also writing everything down I want to say so that I don’t start screaming, then crying, then roll into a ball and hide under my desk.

However, calming down is proving problematic when Patch is a self-aggrandizing arsehole and I have to share an open planned office with him.

Let me give you a little rundown of a few items from today’s ‘The Patch Show': Continue reading

Train of shame

I have a massive thumping head. Too much red wine, a late night, and an early train ride have messed with my focus.

I was in Edinburgh last night having the most lovely home cooked meal at Intern2 and Hubby’s flat (why can everyone cook but me?), and…oh, right, before I move on with the gloriousness of the evening, I have to admit something. I kind of screwed up with HP. I completely forgot he was coming back to Dundee last night after being away. For a week. I should have been home, waiting for my love in lingerie or something, but I kind of just forgot. Continue reading

Omissions and bravado followed by something positive

Oh, by the way, we paid the registration and nonrefundable plane ticket for MacDraggyFeet to go to Berlin for the Publishing Conference. And, she didn’t go. At the last minute her goat fell ill. Yep, she has goats. Oh, and it gets better. She didn’t tell anyone she didn’t go, it just came up in conversation today. And how it’s come up in conversation is even more annoying than the fact that she didn’t go.

Patch and BigEyes’ flirting session moved from how he’s the happy martyr to his role in the Frankfurt Book Fair. (Which, by the way, was not a part of our Monday meeting. At no point did neither MacDraggyFeet or Patch even mention their trip.)

Here’s how today’s most recent conversation went between Patch and BigEyes… Continue reading

Alone in a sea of ejits

Got a text from HP as I was coming home from work last night. The presentation in London went really well. He didn’t have anything to do with it, he was just along for the ride, to learn and all. But it was really interesting. (Side note: It’s weird. Since HP’s been gone we haven’t spoken once. All texts. And I don’t know if this is because we’re having problems, or if it’s just how we (society) is used to communicating. And even weirder, because of the texts I don’t feel like we haven’t talked. Drunk dial messages not included of course.) Anyway, he has to be in Glasgow today for work, so rather than come back to Dundee last night, then over to Glasgow this morning, he was taking the train from London to Glasgow yesterday then staying the night with Roger. Will I ever see my boyfriend again? Has been nice having the house to myself though. Continue reading