Publishing Is Getting Hit By Economy, Too

It looks as if a number of publishers are reorganizing, probably due to even thinner bottom lines.

Random House

According to Publisher's Lunch, Bantam Dell group president and publisher Irwyn Applebaum is leaving the company immediately after 25 years there, while the publishing line itself is being absorbed by the Random House group, under Gina Centrello, along with the Spiegel & Grau unit that had been part of Doubleday.

Doubleday president and publisher Steve Rubin's job is no longer going to exist because Doubleday is no longer going to be a freestanding group. The CEO of Random House is "in discussions" with Mr. Rubin "about creating a new role for him."

Other lines will be absorbed by Knopf (Doubleday and Nan A. Talese) and Crown (Broadway, Doubleday Business, Doubleday Religion, and WaterBrook Multnomah).

Harcourt Houghton Mifflin

A number of employees have been laid off. Publisher's Lunch thinks the parent company has given up on the trade line, so if your agent has been thinking of pitching here, he or she might want to rethink that.

Thomas Nelson

Ten percent of the workforce was laid off (about 54 people, according to Publisher's Lunch). They had laid off about 60 people back in April. Apparently their sales were off in September and October, which prompted the most recent layoffs.

Simon & Schuster

Thirty-five positions across the company were eliminated, due to "an unavoidable acknowledgment of the current bookselling marketplace and what may very well be a prolonged period of economic instability," according to CEO Carolyn Reidy.

Talk about stretching the thinning ranks even thinner. Not sure if this means more editors have lost their jobs, which means those who are lucky enough to have their books published in the upcoming year or so may have to deal with editors who are even more nervous and backed up (not to mention the authors, too).

So the economy is reaching into a lot of sectors, not just the financial and automotive ones. Count your lucky stars if you have a day job, but never, EVER give up hope of landing that publishing contract. Just write your very best, including those interesting characters...and you never know what may happen.

Love and kisses,

~Nancy Beck


riotimus said...

I have been reading about the publishing hit and wondered what it would mean for those of us trying to break out. I guess in the long run I am glad that I write more for my personal satisfaction than in hopes of the contract. May there be a publisher out there for all of us.


Nancy Beck said...

Amen to all of that.

I mean, why bother writing if it doesn't interest you personally? I know there are those out there trying to break in who are writing with what's hot at the moment, but I hope they're getting something out of it, too.

For me, I just love the characters I created in my current WIP. They're a lot of fun, but the story isn't just a laugh riot from start to finish - there's some sadness, but the main point (for me, anyway) is that life is not just one dramatic (or melodramatic) scene; humor has to be in there somewhere.

And may there be a publisher - big or small - for you, too, riotimus! :-)