Thursday, October 11, 2012

Handshake Deals

In many respects I'm a Luddite . . . especially when it comes to old-school trust, honor, and honesty.  That's why I continue to like publishers (for the most part).  Publishing has remained, in many respects, a business built on relationships, trust, and the once-honored tradition of the handshake.

In recent weeks I've taken part in several handshake deals.  I love this.  Although most of these were not of the physical flesh-pressed-to-flesh variety, these were deals arrived at via phone conversations, email correspondence or a simple mutual understanding:  I'll do this . . . YOU do that.  That's publishing as it used to be . . . that's publishing as I remember it and how I want to see it preserved.  I'm an old dog and I don't like new-fangled tricks.  I just want an honest word. 

I like handshake deals because they also appeal to my sense of integrity.  I love it when an editor gives me the green light to write . . . an opportunity based on nothing more than his/her trust in me: that I will accomplish and deliver what I say I will deliver and will deliver it on time, unplagiarized and uncorrupted, and in a manner consistent with the high standards the editor expects.

Likewise, I trust the editor to follow through on his/her good word, to use my work in a manner consistent with the publication, and (if discussed as part of the deal) to deliver payment on time and in the amount determined.

I don't intend to fail on my end.  I don't expect the editor to fail on his/her end.  I will work all night if I have to.  I will work for weeks.  I know the editor will do the same.  And all of this is built on a firm handshake and a smile.  That's how it used to be.  That's how it is.  That's how I want to keep it.

In the meantime . . . I'm still working on my essay entitled, "In Praise of Editors".

I know someone out there will publish it.  Editors, after all, are happy to read about themselves.  They just need writers like to me to write about them and stroke their egos.

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