Before this last week, I had never heard of “book packagers” before and, frankly, I find the whole concept depressing. However, this piece about one writer’s experience, made me laugh–I Coulda Been a Pretender:

However, having never lived in the United States, I had no idea about what was permissible in terms of cussing, especially in kids’ fiction. We had agreed, previously, that I would write the thing as naturally as I could, and the people at 17th Street would filter out the unacceptable elements. So, I did just that, leaving in the text a modest fistful of shits, craps, a bastard, and several fucks. I even told them so when I mailed the finished text. Did they filter? Did they read? No; they gave the manuscript straight to the 8-year-old son of the company president. Little Timmy saw a shit and a fuck. He cried. He read the word bastard and needed counseling. It was a catastrophe.

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