High times in publishing!
It’s a new week in a new year. Why NOT write another article about the downturn in publishing due to the new economy.
Except, I’m not sure what publishing world this article is talking about:
For decades the New York publishing world promised a romantic life of fancy lunches, sparkling parties, sophisticated banter and trips to spots like the Caribbean to pitch books to sales representatives. If the salaries were not exactly Wall Street caliber, well, they came with a milieu that mixed cultural swagger with pure Manhattan high life.
Seriously? Has this writer ever TALKED to someone in book publishing. Because that’s not the world I know.
Sure, I got to go to a book launch at Gracie Mansion, where we ate Costco style appetizers and mingled with the elite of the Landmarks Commission. That’s hardly Capote’s Black and White Ball, I’ll have you know. Events like that don’t happen every day, week or even month.
Yes, on occasion, we travel to warm climates to have sales conferences. Business travel being so glamorous, and all. It doesn’t mention that often you don’t see the outside of the hotel for days at a time. I’d much rather be home with my family at night than having to sleep in a generic hotel room and face back to back meetings the next day. I can see BEA being less important to publishers but Frankfurt and London are awfully important to deal making, and to portray them as a total boondoggle is misleading.
I really don’t think that even if our expense accounts were taking on as much as this article implies, that it’s the biggest problem we’re facing in publishing. How about sky-high advances for mid-list books that don’t earn out? What about printing books to sell into an account for a promotion, and then having to take 1/2 of them back, not to be resold, and that’s considered a success?
I can see people reading this and getting really mad, thinking that we’re all ready for our next meal at Le Cirque. Well, I certainly am, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to be expensing it.