Saturday, January 10, 2009

Austerity Measures

Quite how the economic downturn will affect publishing in the long term is anyone's guess.

Boyd Tonkin in the Independent cheers us up by reminiscing on how things changed for the better in Uk publsihing in the midst of the 80's depression (You may remember that Jonathan Jones on the Guardian blog argued along similar lines, not so long ago.)

Several publishers and writers make their won predictions about how they think things will shake out this time round: the general theme seems to be that publishers will stick with the predictable, but (once again) creativity will find ways and means.

Suzanne Plunket in The New York Times looks at how austerity measures have come to the formerly glitzy New York Publishing world. One example :
Just two weeks before announcing staff cuts and a substantial corporate restructuring in December, the publishing giant Macmillan gathered its sales and marketing staff at the historic Hotel del Coronado in San Diego — where Billy Wilder filmed Tony Curtis wooing Marilyn Monroe in “Some Like It Hot” — to talk about titles on the spring lists. Between marathon meetings to discuss plans for new books, the sales reps were invited to take part in wine tastings and spa treatments. ... This year the meetings will be held via Webcam. In a memo to staff members announcing the layoffs on Dec. 15, John Sargent, chief executive of Macmillan, said the company would hold only one of its three annual sales conferences in person, and the other two would be conducted on the Web and by telephone.
Book sales are down as expected, but the Telegraph reports today that sales of second hand books in the UK are well up.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Second-hand bookstores are mushrooming as well :) it's a pity that the net is still cheaper (and interactive :) )