Thursday, February 12, 2004

More About the Naughty Nannies

So why is the New York publishing world so hell bent on vilifying the authors of The Nanny Diaries? (See my post of February 9). Okay, so Emma McLaughlin's and Nicola Kraus's second novel, Citizen Girl, is a disaster and the nannies are not buying the idea of doing a rewrite. So, all right, Random House, let 'em walk. Pots of money went down the drain, but RH bears at least half of the responsiblity there. The scuttlebutt is that the nannies are "difficult and demanding," a reputation that will make it nearly impossible for them to get another book published by the biggies. Doesn't this sound a little like what happened to Deborah Winger in Hollywood? If the rumormongers with the biggest axes to grind are to be believed, the nannies insisted upon "professional hair and makeup for all appearances." And is that what's at the root of the "difficult and demanding" thing?

This story reeks of vengeful angst and the ones to suffer will be the authors, who have no means at the moment to defend themselves, if their story would even be believed at this point. I'm not sticking up for what may be two spoiled brats; I'm defending the position of the author in high-stakes negotiations with publishers who, let's face it, almost always win and who always have more power. Yes, always. Ninety-five percent of writers have precious little firepower in their arsenal when compared with the big publishers' cannonade, so, in defense of writers, please join me in not heeding the call to jump on the publishers' bandwagon dissing the nannies.


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