STATUS: Hugely productive day. I cleared the surface area of my desk for the first time in about a month I’d say.
What’s playing on the iPod right now? PROFESSIONAL JEALOUSY by Van Morrison
Today I was de-cluttering the files on my desk when I came across a pile of editor business cards from one of my trips to New York last year.
Often times I jot down a few notes to myself about the meeting or about the editor’s tastes on the back of the card. When I hit the office, I’ll input relevant info into my database for future use.
But what struck me about this pile, and hence the blog, was how many editors had left the business since I had those meetings last year. It was close to half (and these editors, by the way, weren’t new as in assistant or associate editors). They had been in the biz for years.
In fact, I just got an email from one of my favorite editors (with whom I had a client with for many years) that she’s leaving and will be having a baby very shortly. I’m thrilled for her but couldn’t help groaning.
Agents expend a lot of time building our contacts. Of course we’d love the editors to stay put—especially if we match up in tastes etc. There’s nothing worse than the perfect editor who leaves and you can’t match tastes with his/her replacement to save your life. On the flipside, there are several editors I adore personally but to whom I’ll probably never sell a book to because we just don’t share that vision. Invariable those editors stay forever (she smiles wryly). When that happens, it’s a godsend when new blood is brought in to that imprint so I have a fighting chance of landing a client there.
But back to the point. When an editor leaves, agents have to rebuild their contacts. Sometimes it’s easy (maybe there are several like-minded editors at that same imprint and I can focus on another editor there instead), but if there isn’t and a new editor arrives, I add that person to my meeting list for my next NYC trip.
And hope they won’t be leaving the biz in the following year!