Monday, December 14, 2009

A Note to Publishers in these Recessionary Times

Friday was the holiday gathering of the agents I socialize with. We had a fabulous French meal in midtown, and equally fabulous red wine. We were happy.

Until we started talking about the industry. Now you know that today most agent have come from the ranks of full-time publishing employment, so we all were commenting on how glad we were that we weren't on the other side of the paycheck anymore (note to readers: I became an agent directly from a stint as a newspaper publisher). One editorial consultant even mentioned an editor friend who had been promoted and told she still had her junior position expense account, plus the job respsonsibiities she was leaving, as well as those she was taking on. She wondered, "How is she going to get the bigger books, if she can't take agents to lunch?"

And it struck us all how simple it would be to change things now. Yes, I love a good lunch at Ruth Chris or the Rockefeller Cafe, but I really am there for the business. So, why don't publishers invite agencies to the conference room, where a number of editors can meet with a number of agents and order in? This would save so much time and money?

Granted those agents who are so impressed with themselves that they need individual lunches will always be there, but for most agents and editors, this would solve so many problems.

Just my holiday two cents after too much red wine!