The Author is Always Right

Question: Has being an author made you a better publicist?

Crosley:  It’s funny because my first job was actually for a literary agent and I used to sort of go around saying I drank the literary agenting Kool Aid and the fact that it was the moral end of the business to be in. Here you are defending authors’ rights; that’s what you do. You’re sort of guarding them and acting as their advocate on behalf of them against a big bad publishing house somewhere. Then when I moved into publicity at my first publishing house, which was Harper-Collins and I’ve been at Vintage for about six years, I still had it, especially the kinds of books I worked on, the kinds of authors; these are still people that you work with because you believe in what they do and you’re passionate about it. But it’s funny; you lose a little bit of that. The author is always right, the sort of the customer is always right thing that you have being a literary agent, and I didn’t know I lost it because it’s obviously a gradual process. Hopefully, none of my authors felt that I was saying no, you can’t go on tour and you can’t do this, this, this, this. But then, becoming an author, I found that if someone had a problem at work with one of their authors and came to me about it and said “Can you believe this author wants X, Y, and Z, I’d say of course they do. It’s totally reasonable. I’ve sort of regained that sympathy that I had for their neuroses.

Qiuestion: Is it dfficult to write while holding down a day job?

Crosley:  It’s very difficult. The good thing about it is that, in speaking of Kool Aid drinking, I work at a publishing house that publishes just a myriad of authors that I respect for all different reasons and all different ways, and I think the thing is in a way, you play up. It’s better than, therefore, working at a literary agency where you’re getting tons and tons of query letters and eventually, you’re reading five manuscripts a week thinking what’s the difference between bad and not that bad, whereas I’m looking finished products that are really the best in the business. So it does in terms of the goals, in terms of the actual logistical time that you can spend writing, it’s very difficult.

Both an author and publicist, Crosley gets neurotic writers

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Radical theory says our universe sits on an inflating bubble in an extra dimension

Cosmologists propose a groundbreaking model of the universe using string theory.

Getty Images/Suvendu Giri
Surprising Science
  • A new paper uses string theory to propose a new model of the universe.
  • The researchers think our universe may be riding a bubble expanded by dark energy.
  • All matter in the universe may exist in strings that reach into another dimension.
Keep reading Show less

Your body’s full of stuff you no longer need. Here's a list.

Evolution doesn't clean up after itself very well.

Image source: Ernst Haeckel
Surprising Science
  • An evolutionary biologist got people swapping ideas about our lingering vestigia.
  • Basically, this is the stuff that served some evolutionary purpose at some point, but now is kind of, well, extra.
  • Here are the six traits that inaugurated the fun.
Keep reading Show less

Think you’re bad at math? You may suffer from ‘math trauma’

Even some teachers suffer from anxiety about math.

Image credit: Getty Images
Mind & Brain

I teach people how to teach math, and I've been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I've met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math trauma – a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.

Keep reading Show less