Friday, November 28, 2008

Publishing, the Economy, and Lunch?

Since I work now for a company that cares about what the publishing world is doing, we often receive updates on articles and such related to the industry. And of course, with the economy, there have been the articles about B&N's financials, Borders on the market - off the market drama, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's call for no new manuscripts, etc. The latest article had to do with publishing companies putting the brakes on expensive lunches. The article I was privy to came from The New York Observer. Of course there were arguments for and against these new policies. Everyone is concerned about what "not lunching" will do to the publishing industry. But on the other hand, some folks were commenting that the younger generation of publishers don't tend to "do lunch" anyway. They're more inclined to meet for coffee or drinks or some such thing.

My personal take on the whole thing? If lunch is a great place for publishers and agents to get to know one another and both agree that it's a great place to get to know one another, each party should pay for his/her own meal. Let's face it, the agents are benefiting as much as the publishers are. Why should one half of the duo be burdened with all the expense? And truly, do you have to pay $130 to get to know one another? I know I don't live in NYC, but even so, $130 is pretty steep for lunch for two people.

The comment I respected the most in the article came from Ira Silverberg, "The social time is really important, but what is not important is how expensive the food is." Bravo!

Sometimes I wonder if this economic crisis isn't the universe's way of shaking things up and reminding us of what is really important.

Happy Reading!!


beauvallet November 29, 2008 at 10:00 AM  

They can't brownbag it in the park like the rest of us poor schmucks?

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