In a piece that is weirdly complementary with this week's books lead, Chris Rodell has written a piece about the frustrations of being a freelancer whose pitches aren't rejected—they're outright ignored:

I’m nostalgic for the days when I used to gauge my how hard I was working by the frequency of my rejection letters. I knew I wasn’t working hard enough unless I was getting at least one rejection a day. This made sense because if the rejections were coming with regularity it meant that my stuff was being considered elsewhere and would by the law of averages produce a positive result. These days I rarely count on getting either the rejection or the positive result. It’s a Twilight Zone existence where I spend my days yelling down a long canyon and hearing no echoes.

I do have to say that Rodell's book pitches—"an upmarket satirical novel, a downmarket non-fiction humor book, a memoir and a fantasy tale about how the world would be better a place if Dick Cheney was a kindly undercover superhero"—might be part of the problem. The world does not need another book poking fun at Dick Cheney, and unless you've got some sort of an obnoxious twist to it, your memoir won't get even a passing glance from just about anybody in the publishing industry. But even people who reject people are being laid off by publishers, too, and whereas most people used to get a form letter, now they are greeted with silence.

It's a soul-crushingly awful time to be an author, I guess is my point.