If you’re looking for a show to binge-watch and missed the first season of Younger, you’re in for a treat. The cast is phenomenal–Sutton Foster, Hilary Duff, Debi Mazar, Miriam Shor, and Nico Tortorella are amazing–and the writing is smart and witty. Plus, I personally love that it’s set in the book publishing industry.
I anticipated that I would be rolling my eyes every episode while watching Younger because of how glossy they make the publishing world seem. And while Sutton Foster’s character Liza Miller said something far-fetched (she became an editor at Random House by 25), I was pleasantly surprised that they generally got more things right than wrong.
1. “Set up a Twitter account for Jane Austen” is a reasonable, everyday request.
Marketing classic books to a younger generation is a real point of concern in today’s publishing world. So when Liza’s boss Diana Trout asked her to start tweeting as Jane Austen in the series premiere, I thought, “That makes sense.”
2. It is appropriate to wear flannel and combat boots to a publishing house.
If you were surprised by Liza’s relaxed style relative to Diana and Kelsey Peters’ more formal looks, don’t be. In general, publishing houses have a pretty casual dress code – especially for positions like marketing assistant or advertising and promotions coordinator (which is me, by the way).
3. You will find yourself Googling things like “How to sell Joyce Carol Oates novels to millennials.”
I was reminded of my intern days when I saw Liza type these words into Google. Sometimes, the best brainstorming sessions are sparked by searches that seem impossible at first.
4. To find new authors, editors really do have to spend all night reading brand-new books.
I’m not an editor or even an assistant, and I thank the Lord for that. Kelsey, on the other hand, has to frequently stay up all night reading a novel from in-demand Swedish author Anton Bjornberg just so she can get ahead of other publishing houses. If literary agents are saying good things about a manuscript, editors need to act fast.
5. Some authors are very difficult to work with.
When Trout Pout queries Bjornberg about his feelings on marketing, his response is: “I couldn’t care less about marketing. If you had read my book, you would know that.” Ouch. I’ve never worked for a high-brow literary type before, but from what I’ve heard, the struggle indeed is real. The more difficult authors are the low-brow romance types who go into hysterics if their name isn’t printed in a large enough font size or their male cover model doesn’t look attractive enough. Oy vey…
6. There really are no straight attractive single men.
Diana has been witty this season, and I especially loved her one-liner early on about how difficult it is to find a decent man in the publishing industry: “Finding an attractive straight man at a publishing house is rare. It’s like finding Louboutins at a yard sale.” This statement could not be more true–the dating scene for women who work in publishing is ridiculously bleak.
7. Publishing can be a very supportive, girl power-y place.
As soon as Liza came in as the new girl, Kelsey was there to support her. It’s really like that–Since there are so many women in publishing and not a lot of money to go around, it creates a fairly supportive environment. I haven’t experienced the “feeding frenzy” when an editor finally leaves because I’ve never been an editorial assistant, but from what I gather, it supports my point.
One of the best parts about working in publishing has been the girlfriends I’ve made. Whether we work in design, marketing, PR, editorial, advertising, or finance–the women I’ve become friends with are always great people and wonderful friends. This is precisely the part of book publishing that Younger so accurately portrayed this season.
And hey, don’t forget to watch the finale—Tuesday at 10:00 p.m. on TV Land!