I didn't post last week because I had a terrible day last Thursday, that reverberated throughout Friday and part of this week.
I was expecting a phone call from one of my favorite editors some time on Thursday to tell me that he had gotten one of my authors some extra money I had asked for. He had told me that he was having a company-wide meeting that day, but thought it would be something minor about a recent consolidation.
The phone rang at 9:40, which is really early for an editor, but I had an early lunch on Wall Street, so I was glad to have this part of the day starting off.
I was shocked when he told me they were closing his company, and two others, and that he was being terminated.
We had 7 books together. I love his taste. I immediately made some calls to see if I could set up some interviews for him to get a job at another company.
And then I thought about what these 7 cancelled or orphaned books meant to my clients.
Some of these books had taken me more than 2 years to sell. This editor was someone who really got my eclectic list. Publishing the books at his company without him to champion them would mean they would die on the vine.
I also had another book that an editor had nurtured through the editorial process turned down that day (he really expected his bosses to give him the go ahead - he was a very senior editor - but they turned him down).
So now I had 8 more books to sell in addition to the 23 already on my plate.
And just in case you don't know this, it's almost impossible to get an offer in July and August because anyone who makes decisions about money is on vacation.
It does look like I've been able to successfully publish two of the books. Another looks very promising.
We're also hoping that the editor who bought these books will land on his feet soon, so he can take these titles with him.
I've had worse days on a financial level. I've had big six figure books blow up in my face, but this was a really bad day because these deals were instances where the right author had found the right editor.
I believe in the books and I believe in my ability to sell them again and again, but it would be nice to live in a publishing universe where books stay sold.
I'm not sharing this story with you to scare you. Publishing is a fairly stable business and closing companies is rare, although it obviously does happen.
But let's hope that when one door closes, another opens.