I think this topic has come up in this blog before, but I found a recent snippet by Editorial Ass, and I was struck again by the fact that some people clearly don’t know how NOT to behave when dealing with people in the publishing industry.
If you are rude to someone, they will remember it. They will probably mention it to their colleagues. Said colleagues, and indeed, the person you insulted, probably have contacts throughout the industry, and what if you and your rudeness comes up in conversation? It’s a good way to turn people off, they’ll be reluctant to work with you, and in an industry the size of the one we have here in Oz, YOU CAN’T AFFORD THAT.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t try to work with the best people available. You want the best for your book. But never, NEVER be rude, especially not to the so-called underlings in an organisation. The editorial assistants, the interns, the admin people; they handle the mail, make the appointments, and are the gatekeepers to the more experienced people you’re trying to get to.
Editorial Ass also makes a good point when she says to think twice about turning away from an editor who might have less experience, but is willing to take the time on your project. They may not have the high profile, but they’ll be motivated to work hard, if for no other reason than a good project will help everyone’s career. And again, they’ll be the gateway for eventual attention from the higher-ups.