A little black dress for publishing

by Kelvin Smith

The last (short and quite predictable) chapter of Lorelei Mathias’s Lost for Words is called “Nine Months Later” and sees Daisy and Elliot in a café on Ladbroke Grove, reading the Independent’s glowing review of Half a World Away, written by Will/Elliot, and the first book commissioned by Daisy for Paddington Press. What could be more spiffing than working in publishing, discovering new talent (literary and romantic), and morphing from editorial assistant to assistant editor. As she writes to the person she briefly calls Williot:

p.s. I’ll also be celebrating. In case you didn’t get the oh-so subtle hint (see above), am being promoted. It basically means the word ‘assistant’ moves from the end of my job title, to the beginning. I know. Check me out. But in real terms it’s good. I get a tiny bit more money, a teeny bit more respect from B and H, and a whole lot more fun to be had with non-slushy submissions. Nothing against the slush pile you understand…I mean, occasionally people have struck gold there – but, as you know, that only happens in the rarest cases these days.x

There is some great publishing detail in this title that is “a little black dress book”, but will this still attract an army of young hopefuls in the digital age?

Lorelei Mathias, Lost for Words, 2007