[Agents and editors] are underpaid. Think about it—they are making money off of the income of writers, who may only be next to dancers in the least amount of money paid per hour of preparation and professional effort…which means that much of what they do is done for love.
–Kathryn Craft asks who are agents and editors anyway?
Not to point out the obvious, but it’s probably no surprise that publishing–with the exception of executive positions in the big houses–is one of the most female-dominated professional fields. (Not to mention the fact that novels in particular have historically also been a woman’s medium.)
Women’s work? Undervalued? No-oo-oo!
As an example, according to salary-dobbing website Glassdoor–and taking into account the exchange rate between Australia and the US–I’d need to be (say) a director of something at a Big Name Publishing House to be making a similar salary to what I’m on now in my (male-dominated) day job where, just as a hint, I’m not a director. People in similarly “sized”/”positioned” roles are on about two-thirds to a half of one of me. Senior editors get paid about what my direct reports get paid. There are some jobs–specifically editorial assistants–that are, apparently, paid less than what our grads get paid (these are kids in their first year straight out of university, potentially with no previous work experience; a year or so of that and they “graduate” up into a higher pay bracket).
Not all work is for the money, it’s true. But whenever anyone starts getting on a high bookshelf about fancy lunches and sipping Cosmos in New York?
Yeah. Not so much, hey.
For what it is–professional/white-collar, high-skilled, labour-intensive–publishing work is underpaid.