Younger offers a riveting insight into the seemingly exciting world of book publishing, featuring a world of high fashion, fierce sales and competition, and rising stars rapidly rising through the ranks. The attractive and diverse selection of characters draws viewers in and helped make the show so popular.
It’s a pretty glamorous rendering, which makes sense given the premise and the fact that it’s, of course, a fictional TV series. Naturally, certain things will be embellished while others will be enhanced for a dramatic and entertaining effect. Nonetheless, fans who have never seen the inner workings of the publication can’t help but wonder: how much of the series is realistic about the publishing industry, and how much is totally wrong?
10 Wrong: the timelines
In the series, in some cases, a book went from being a concept to being fully written and edited, the cover was made, and copies were published in what seemed like a matter of weeks. This is highly unlikely in the publishing world.
A prominent example is the book Marriage vacation, which turns Charles’s ex-wife into a published author in a matter of weeks. The editing process alone would take much longer, even with the most talented editors. But with Liza, an assistant who is apparently new to editing, doing the work? This kind of timeline is unheard of.
9 Right: the pay is not good
It’s true that publishing jobs aren’t exactly the best money-makers compared to careers in other fields. In one scene, Liza tells Charles that she works in publishing “for love, not money.” Most people who pursue a career in the publishing industry do so because of their love of the written word, and they don’t expect to make a lot of money.
There are exceptions to all the rules, of course, like world-famous authors who make big money, along with publishing executives and tycoons who have built empires. But most mid-level publishing jobs have decent but not outrageous salaries.
8 Wrong: read so much, so fast
It’s unrealistic that Liza, Kelsey, and Charles can read the number of books and book drafts they make in the span of an average workweek, or even at night. Many episodes show them reading a 300-page book in one night.
Even for someone who reads fast or just scans pages, this seems like a huge undertaking, especially to do every day, no matter how passionate you are about books. It makes sense to read multiple synopses or even a few chapters to familiarize yourself with a book. But cover to cover, one or more per night? It is not plausible and would not be expected of editors except in extreme circumstances.
7 Right: Events and lunches
Weather Younger focuses so much on the fun aspects of publishing versus the more boring aspects of meeting deadlines and conferences or client meetings that are worth postponing, it is true that the publishing world has many events.
Those who work in the media tend to be invited to many evenings for the purpose of coverage in newspapers, magazines, or websites, or just to chat. It’s still work and everyone has to be “active,” making Kelsey’s binge drinking at some of the events questionable. It is true that there are more boring events, such as that of P is for pigeon, than the flashy ones. But, depending on the type of publication, the holidays can be a bonus of the job.
6 Wrong: those big expense accounts
The series’ most realistic financial scenario was when Kelsey put up her own savings to make the app and podcast for Inkubator. Crazy party budgets, lunch expense accounts, and travel budgets are unrealistic in today’s publishing world.
While it was clear that often Empirical was cutting pennies, such as when Charles didn’t want to pay for Liza and Kelsey to attend an out-of-state conference, some of the other expenses incurred, such as Liza constantly riding in taxis. for pickups and returns, it seems unlikely.
5 Right: Peculiar authors
Considering that many of the series’ fictional authors are modeled after real-life people, it makes sense that there is some truth to it. Book authors tend to be quirky and eccentric. Although this is not always the case, a certain level of creativity is required to be a talented author. And like actors, authors often fit a different mold.
They are passionate, they have their own processes and they like to do things their own way. And, like Edward LL Moore, they are often slow to submit their work if they haven’t found the inspiration they need or if they suffer from that well-known condition called writer’s block. Or, like rock star Chrissie Hart, they might even be reluctant to hand over their work entirely.
4 Wrong: you don’t need a lot of experience
Even an entry-level job as a personal assistant in a publishing house requires some experience in the field, along with an education in journalism or a related degree. While Liza did have publishing experience, she had to submit a fake resume to get a job at Empirical, as she was pretending to be much younger.
The details of his artificial resume include an after-school gap where he spent time in India. It was obvious that she had little to no experience, but she was hired pretty quickly. In the real world, you probably wouldn’t have even been able to get an unpaid internship without more education. Even having had experience decades before, it’s no surprise that fans believe that Liza should end up going back to school to update her skills, despite her obvious natural talent.
3 Right: The fight to stay relevant
Anyone who has worked in publishing in recent times, especially in print, knows all too well the struggles to stay relevant in a digital world. Liza and Kelsey’s attempts to get Charles to embrace more digital strategies is something the publishing world has been grappling with for some time.
The constant tug of war between the “old guard” and their desire to stick to those proven financial anchors and the “new guard” who wants to shake things up and bring publication to 21S t century is accurate for many companies. In part, that’s why fans love Kelsey’s character so much, depicting a strong, passionate, and intelligent young woman looking to excite a new generation about reading.
two Wrong: fashion
In light of average salaries, employees with expensive stitching and flashy, high-end general fashion are probably not the case for people in positions like editor, publisher, or editorial assistant. While Lauren, who works in public relations, perfectly embodies a public relations company owner who everyone wants to be friends with, the others are too fashionable.
Even at high-end book publishers, wardrobes are likely to be much more laid-back, or at least more conservative than some of the flashy outfits Liza and Kelsey wear to the office or at events. Not to mention, how could they afford all those clothes?
1 Right: friendships and camaraderie
Publishing is one of those industries where coworkers support each other and departments work together, from publishing to creativity to marketing. There may not always be sunshine and roses, but in most cases, it is valuable that everyone is successful.
People are always willing to support each other and offer mentoring for newcomers. So Kelsey and Liza’s friendship is very credible, as it makes sense that as a 20-year-old rising star, Kelsey wants to surround herself with other people as empirically minded people who could help her reach her full potential.
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