Another tough day in publishing

February 10th, 2009 • Kate

I don’t have many details, but I just read this on Publishers Marketplace:

In another paring at HarperCollins, Susan Katz announced that “to further streamline our publishing operations, we will close The Bowen Press.” Katz says “as the book world becomes increasingly challenging, we must continue to be extremely cost conscious.” The unit will also move offices, to join the rest of Harper at 10 E. 53 Street.

Bowen isn’t the only loss at HarperCollins today, which also shuttered the Collins imprint and laid off a number of employees. They have a great blog, too — which I hope will continue in some form.
It’s always tough to see a great list disappear, and though Bowen was young, it was mighty.
As an author, what happens when your list gets shuttered, or your editor gets laid off? Unfortunately, a lot of authors are finding out right now. In a best case scenario, your book will be assigned to another editor at your publishing house, who will love your book with the same emotional intensity as your acquiring editor. If not — well, hopefully your new editor will still do their best to help get your book published. After all, it’s still going to have their name attached to it from now on, even if it is as a hand-me-down.
Worst case scenario? Your deal gets canceled, and author and agent put noses back to the grindstone to resubmit and find your book a new home.
But most often, what happens is something in the middle. You still have a deal, and though you may not have the same support from your editor as you did before, there’s still going to be a book at the end of the process. And that’s when you find out just how incredibly important it is to be your own best marketer and promoter. Because a true success story? Is a hand-me-down project that does so well for an editor that they snap up another book. And another. And another. And another…

Update: a little more news from Publishers Weekly.

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3 Responses to “Another tough day in publishing”

  1. stina Says:

    Somehow rejections from agents just doesn't seem such a big deal anymore. The news is getting more depressing each day.

  2. chocolateinspir Says:

    The whole thing at Harper is just awful. Tough times

  3. beth Says:

    Oh, that just hurt when I read about Bowen closing last night. I love their blog, too. Bowen Press really seemed like a fledging ray of hope in these economic times, and it feels so crushing now to see them fold. I went from Bowen's blog straight to another author's blog–a debut author whose book just came out recently from Bowen. What a time of joy mixed with anxiety for that author, and what sad time for everyone associated with the imprint.