Over the holiday, I thought long and hard about what I wish for our business in 2010 and here are three things I would love to see happen:
For those who believe the readers of electronic books are the same readers as for hard-copy books, let’s experiment and see. Try publishing both versions simultaneously and with another equally marketable title, publish the hardcover first and the electronic version 4 to 6 months later. It seems to me this is far more sensible than just speculating endlessly on the subject.
I hope that in 2010 editors will take more time to consider projects submitted to them. During the last year, perhaps because of the publishing economy, perhaps because of cutbacks in personnel and increased workloads, it seemed to me that editors were more than ever before “programmed” to say no. Many of them even admitted just sending the proposal back after reading the cover note because they were “sure” it wasn’t for them. Authors and agents work very hard on these proposals and consider carefully to whom they are submitting. If we are going to improve the quality of the books being published, editors need to take more time in considering the submissions they receive.
Finally, I hope the New Year brings a renewal of respect and collegiality in our business. In the last couple of years, for whatever reason, I have seen less of both between author and agent, publisher and author, and even among peers within the industry. If our business is to survive, we have to communicate better, more honestly and more respectfully with each other.
I wish all of you a prosperous 2010–may it be filled with peace, good health and lots of bestselling books.