Wednesday, October 17, 2007
What's on my desk?
. . .A mess.
When I've got 10 or more things I'm trying to juggle all at once, it sure is hard to keep my desk clean and looking organized. (Okay, the picture isn't of today's desk, but it looks like this most days.) Wednesdays seem to be extra hard for managing the chaos.
I don't know why I chose Wednesday for blog day. It is the climatic day of the week when projects started on Monday are peaking and when I start to look ahead to wrapping up other things before the end of the week. And it's the day I always seem to end up working well over 8 hours.
Wednesdays are also the time when the senior editors sit down with our president and go over works in progress, ideas for new product, and the like, which generally adds to my "to do" list.
Today when I arrived I was surprised to hear that I was being pulled into a meeting with representatives from Family bookstore chain. With basically no time to prepare, I had to go and give them teasers about what fiction will be on our Fall 2008 list.
The meeting went fine and was quite relaxed. I really do enjoy the opportunity to hear direct from bookstore buyers what works best for them. We discussed how they position our fiction collections and manage endcaps. We talked about the plan to increase the price of collections by a dollar in the near future. All of which was positive.
Somehow the topic of re-purposing old fiction came up. It seemed to be the feel of the room that anytime someone tries to bring back old fiction that is author-driven it fails. If a book has gone out of print a while, then there isn't much chance of giving it another run in the market unless perhaps in an omnibus collection or other similar promotional package like Barbour is known to do.
I found this interesting because I've recently had a string of emails from authors who are checking on rights to their books. I'm always curious about where authors think they can resell rights to their fiction. Unless the current publisher can keep a book alive on the backlist -- recovering or repackaging the book into a fresh looking product that continues to draw sales -- I'd say the fiction has pretty much run its course.
If you know of a way someone is making more than a couple hundred off of licensing old fiction, I'd be interested in hearing about it.
Likewise, I'd be interested in getting questions that you'd like to see us addressing on this blog. It isn't easy coming up with fresh topics every week on our own.
Here's to hoping you make it through another manic Wednesday.
Editor Du Jour Becky