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.