Thursday, September 18, 2008

What Does This Ecomonic Downturn Mean for Writers?

In case you've been writing under a rock, let me inform you that we've been in a recession in New York for the past six months.

This stock market fiasco is hitting the city pretty hard. One of the 7 major houses has had a hiring freeze since June. They were 4 editors short since the end of the summer, and were not even looking for interns to supplement (BYW, I am looking for interns).

I know a young woman who had been offered a job (not in publishing) in NY and was set to move here this week. On Tuesday morning, she received an email that said they were sorry, but they would have to rescind their job offer in light of the current economic situation. It's gonna' be tough here for the foreseeable future.

It's not all doom and gloom. I just sold another book for one of my clients to Harlequin's Spice line. But the bad news there is that it won't be pubbed until 2011.

And there's the rub. These publishing companies work so far in advance, that when they decide to slow down acquisitions, they can literally just stop buying for 6 or 9 months. And that's what I predict will happen here.

So my advice is to close on any offer that comes your way now, or try to get a three book deal, because it's going to be very slow for the next few months.

But I would love to be proven wrong.

7 comments:

Suzanne said...

I had no idea that what happened on Wall Street would have such far reaching implications, yet it also makes sense.

I wonder if this will cause literary agents to curtail taking on new clients?

Anonymous said...

I've been wondering what effect it will have on reader's buying habits. I signed a deal this spring, my first book comes out next spring and I'm worried that a tanking economy is going to kill the series.

Harry

Savannah Chase said...

It is truly sad how much the economy has fallen...Every person is suffering....I truly hope that things will change for the better

MRasey said...

Thanks for the heads up. I wondered how Wall Street was going to impact Book Street.

M

kimmirich said...

Let's just hope as with all recessions/history, some things continue to always be in demand; booze, books and Entertainment...

Yuppers, they'll give up that shiny new car they fell in love with, nurse the old lawn mower for another season, but we humans beings that we are, will not give up our entertainment! We simply have to feel good--when all else is bad! Did I say books? ; )

Jill Corcoran said...

The only bright light I can see is that editors are still going to conferences and retreats and are looking for new voices because that is how these editors are going to keep their jobs.
But I have to agree, lock in that three book deal asap.
Thanks for this post!

Yvette Davis said...

Interns? Looking for interns?

Can a person on the West Coast intern with a pub. co. in NYC? Is it even possible?

Sigh.....I'm geographically disadvantaged!