Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Yes, Another Editor Lunch

While I certainly don’t intend to blog about every editor/agent lunch I have, I do think that a few warrant a comment. In my first post on the subject (The Editor/Agent Lunch, August 10) I talked about lunches in general and what it is like to meet with a brand-new editor—someone you’ve never met before. At a more recent lunch, however, I had a very different, albeit equally satisfying experience, when I met with an editor I have known and worked with for a number of years.

First off, we met at one of my favorite NYC restaurants and coincidentally arrived at exactly the same time. Because we’ve known each other for a while we spent the first part of our lunch catching up—both personally and professionally.

Primarily, though, I was going into the lunch to discuss a client of mine and, more specifically, what I was hoping the publisher could start doing for her. Once we got down to business we discussed my client’s sales (which are quite impressive) and I proposed ways the publisher could help with more of her publicity expenses. For a week prior to this meeting said client and I discussed all of the publicity she has been doing and I even had her prepare a list of everything she had done in the past and everything she has planned for the future. I presented this list to the editor as a starting-off point for what we would like to see the publisher pay for. Not surprisingly, up to this point, the publisher hasn’t spent a dime on this author. Happily though, the author’s books are doing phenomenally well and, as far as I’m concerned, it’s time for the publisher to start ponying up. Luckily the editor agreed.

Obviously the editor is only one part of this author’s team and not the final say on how money is going to be spent, but it’s nice to know she is on our side. Together we discussed which expenses we thought would be most beneficial to approach the “big wigs” about—what we’d have the best chance of them paying for and what would be the most helpful to the author. We’re also brainstorming other ways we think the publisher can help support the book—through advertising, marketing and publicity.

Before ending our meal with an amazing chocolate dessert (hey, I only had salad), I pitched my client’s next proposed work, we discussed upcoming BookEnds projects, what she is looking to buy these days and what the house is looking to buy. Not only is she interested in anything this particular author is putting together, but she was thrilled with our client list and I foresee working on many new projects in the future.



Kate Douglas said...'s a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it. Actually, the breadth and scope of what an agent actually does boggles the mind. I think I prefer the writing...

elysabeth said...

so basically, you are asking the publisher to up her royalties? or covering expenses? I'm confused because from all the things I have heard or read, the cost of promoting (marketing) falls on the author's shoulders, not the publishers. Maybe this was a renegotiation of contract? - It seems that even as an editor, one would not be too willing to agree that the author has incurred a lot of expenses and would want to fight to pay them more or any additional amount to what was already contracted - humm - Lost in South Carolina today - E :)