Category Archives: interaction


Subway Reading

When I get on the subway, most times I read an e-book on my phone or a print copy. Other times, I people watch and get excited when I see people with books in their hands. I eagerly look around wondering if I’ll spot one of ours, a title I’ve read before, or one that looks interesting. I’ve never ventured to ask anyone about the book they are reading and what they think of it; instead, I try to look for signs on their faces (I can’t read without making a face: aghast, anxious, stupid grin….the whole roller-coaster thing), which does not help me at all. Sometimes, I get off at my stop and wrack my brain to try and remember the title of a book I thought looked good. It’s gotten to the point where I have the notepad on my phone ready to jot these things down!

Luckily, not too long ago I found a brilliant Instagram account to follow called Subway Book Review. It was started by Uli Beutter Cohen, who unlike me, talks to her fellow subway riders about the books they are reading and then posts the review on Instagram/ Facebook with a lovely picture of the book and the reviewer. The genres and titles differ greatly, just like the people that come in and out of the subways everyday.

Thanks to this amazing account, I am now inspired to start talking to people with books who might be standing or sitting close to me. What can it hurt? It’s the go-to conversation starter in our business. It’s also a great way to meet people and more importantly, practice pitching your book to agents/editors. I encourage you all to give it a try if you are like me and haven’t done so already. I would be glad to post a follow-up on the person I talked to and a review of the book they were reading!


Tell us how we’re doing

A while back (a year, maybe more—my conception of time is shockingly horrible, bordering on nonexistent), Sharon did a blog post asking for feedback from our readers. What we heard was eye-opening to say the least.

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All of it was informative and very helpful—and I believe it led to a better year in blogging for DGLM and our readers. So I will do so again here. Let’s call it our year-end review.

What do you guys enjoy about our blog? What keeps bringing you back for more? What would you like to see us do differently, do better?

This is your chance for some input. Our readers are important to us, and we want to blog about what you want to read about. So please, don’t hold back. What’s on your mind?


Those wide open spaces

Many years ago, before I was an agent, I directed all book and magazine publishing for a large newspaper syndicate.  While those of us who didn’t work directly in editorial for the syndicate—publishing, licensing, sales and the executive suite—had our individual offices, some of them very spacious, the heart of the staff worked in an open bullpen.  There, they communicated easily with each other as they edited the writers with whom they worked.  In fact the editorial staff who worked in my division also worked in an open bullpen-like area, writing and editing material and sharing their ideas with each other.

Last Tuesday, many, many years later, Miriam and I attended a party held by HarperCollins to celebrate the relocation of their offices from Midtown to the Financial District downtown. The layout was open and airy with people sitting in bullpen-like settings.  Some, who previously had window offices still had offices with glass walls so that they could see out and those passing by could see in.  This layout, we were told, was meant to foster a spirit of collaboration.  In addition, I would guess that there was an overall downsizing in terms of the number of square feet the company now occupies, which will enable the publisher to spend money on the titles they are publishing rather than on rent and maintenance of the many floors they took up at 10 East 53rd Street.  Bottom line, my general impression was a very positive one.

Fostering a spirit of collaboration and cooperation in this publishing climate can produce nothing but solid results, in my opinion.  Sure, there is some resistance to this layout—those who previously had privacy don’t have it any more, certainly not as much.  But the benefits include a sense of team building and a  collegial environment.  I think growth will be the ultimate result here and I think this kind of organizational layout will become the norm in the years to come.

Of course, I am always curious as to what you, our readers, think of this idea and I look forward to your comments.

Why are the books always better?

I watched Gatsby the other day. Excuse me, let me clarify. I tried to watch yet another disappointing movie adaptation, another beloved-book-turned-train-wreck-of-a-movie. And I’ve never once gushed over F. Scott Fitzgerald’s magnum opus like so many do. No, I went in with reasonable expectations. Expectations even Leonardo DiCaprio with all his talent and all his movie-star swag couldn’t help the movie live up to.

So cheers to good books that can’t be experienced any other way than through the written word. Gatsby was flawed from the start. People have tried to make the movie before…and all have failed. Some other good examples of poor movie adaptations: