Friday, December 05, 2008

Life Is So Tough

From a New York Observer story seeking reactions to "Black Wednesday":
Also, alert to agents! Apparently the "powers that be"—presumably at Macmillan—"have been encouraging us to come up with book ideas and seek out authors ourselves, rather than relying on agents."
Boo hoo. The editors I work with almost never get submissions from agents in the first place, and usually are beating the bushes at conferences and other events to find experts who might want to write books on subjects that people need. It happens a lot in my end of publishing.

It's only the trendy, flashy end of publishing that's over-subscribed by wanna-bes and inundated in slush. On the other hand, the money isn't all that great in professional publishing, most of the time.

But the idea that editors should get off their duffs and figure out what kind of books they should be acquiring -- and then going out to get books like that -- is so obvious and basic that I'm shocked that people have to be told to do it. (Though editors generally are quiet and reactive folks -- I know; I was one for sixteen years -- who prefer to sit in their offices and see what comes in the mail.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're finding the funniest comments! Editors always look for books on their own -- particularly non-fiction, but also troll magazines and anthologies for fiction, go to writing conferences, get besieged at dinner parties, etc. In tough economic times, though, editors are far more likely to stick just to agents, since having a top agent have sent the ms. to you is justification with corporate types for letting you buy the book. This is just getting silly. Is this supposed to make book publishing sound glamorous so that people will be impressed when it crashes? Is this really the sort of press coverage they want?

Post a Comment