I dedicated UP TO THIS POINTE to my agent and my editor. Because I believe making a book - the truest, best book, telling the best story I can tell, is not something I could ever do alone. These two women, younger and way smarter than I will ever be, made UP TO THIS POINTE possible first, by saying yes to the story. "A ballerina in Antarctica? Why the hell not, let's go!" They helped me find the actual story I meant to tell, among hundreds of thousands of words that nearly derailed the truth of it. I love agents. I love editors. I'm still so new to publishing that the amount of work I witness these two women do for all of their authors is still kind of staggering to me.
I know the following is well worn and repeated a lot and maybe you disagree but one of the best ways I can explain how I feel about publishing in general is from what I like to think of as John Green’s Ode To Publishing wherein he explains why the concept of Author As Island feels completely false:
“Bezos repeatedly peddled the lie that a book is created by one person, and that therefore a book’s author should be the sole entity to profit from the sale of the book. (Aside, of course, from Amazon itself.)
Bezos and Amazon are consistent in their promotion of this lie, because it encourages the idea that the publishing landscape today is bloated and inefficient and that there is a better, cheaper way to do it–a way where all books can cost $1.99 with most of that $1.99 going to the author. Readers and writers both win then, right?
Well, no. Because the truth is, most good books are NOT created solely by one person: Editors and publishers play a tremendously important role not just in the distribution of books, but in the creation of them. Without copyeditors and proofreaders, my books would be riddled with factual and grammatical errors that would pull you out of the story and give you a less immersive reading experience. This is true not only for traditional/legacy publishing but also for self-published books. Authors are not islands. But I do believe that without publishers, the overall quality and diversity of books will suffer.”
To my agent Melissa Sarver White, my editor Chelsea Eberly, and to all the agents and editors who love books more than anything and have dedicated their lives to bringing new books to readers every year, for seeking authors whose books challenge and strive to depict and celebrate diversity of humanity, books that save us and make us laugh and become part of who we are, and make us better, funnier, kinder - less lonely - to you, publishing angels, THANK YOU. I thank you as a writer, for the chance to contribute, and I thank you even more from the bottom of my heart, as a reader. Thank you. Books are the best things in the world. And so are you. Love, Jenny.