Here at MagicalWords.Net we try to bring you the truth, even if isn’t a happpy truth.
Yesterday was another difficult day in the publishing business. Harper Collins *rearranged* their business. A lot of people lost jobs. A lot more job cuts will follow. A lot of editors, publicity people, art people, etc…and writers have and/or will lose their livelihood. (Note – so far as I know, no one asked congress for a bailout.) This change affects us all, and if you haven’t read about the business side of the business, now is the time to start. Take a deep breath. It isn’t fun, but it is important.
Below is the letter released by Harper to its employees and *part* of the info sent out by Publisher’s Marketplace. I do not have their permission to post it here, but it has been posted everywhere, including the wire services, so I don’t think they’ll sue me.
Harper CEO Brian Murray writes to employees: “Over the last several
months, the unstable economy has had a significant impact on
businesses and consumer spending. Our industry is not immune to these
market forces, and there is increasing pressure on us, along with our
retail and wholesale partners, to adjust….
“However, given the continued uncertainty in the market and soft
revenues for the company, we need to take further action to align our
cost basis with expected revenues. I have asked each division to
evaluate their business and begin the process to meet this goal.
Unfortunately, in some HarperCollins divisions, implementing these
plans will result in a reduction in workforce. These are difficult
decisions that were not made lightly.
“Although we are facing new challenges today, we know that our
company will again see a strong market. HarperCollins has a nearly
200 year history of managing through business cycles much more
difficult than today’s. I am confident that our authors, our
ambitious publishing plan and our creativity will carry us forward.”
Okay, obviously a lawyer type wrote this and not a fiction writer. Which is sad. A fiction writer could have lied about the future so much better. (tongue in cheek)
Following is part of the company redistribution breakdown:
Following rapid expansion under Steve Ross, HarperCollins is “closing
the Collins Division and realigning the imprint” and president and
publisher of the division Ross is now leaving the company. In other
realignments (see below), William Morrow publisher Lisa Gallagher is
leaving the company as well. The Harper imprint, under Jonathan
Burnham, will absorb the Collins general non-fiction list (which will
be published as Harper titles), along with Collins Reference, which
retains its name as an imprint, and Collins Business, which will
publish as Harper Business going forward.
Collins trade paperbacks, with the exception of Collins Reference and
Collins Design, will be folded into Harper Perennial and Harper
paperbacks under SVP, publisher Carrie Kania.The world is very different now. Yeah, I know, life is different every day. But this is different-different. My grandparents lived through the Great Depression, but they were tied to the land, not the city, industry, and business which is what always suffers in a severe downtown. And in a modern world, city life is what there is. How does this affect us today, right now? (Other than people out of jobs?)
Collins Design publisher Marta Schooler and her team will report to
Harper paperback svp Carrie Kania, who will now oversee the Avon
trade paperback line.
Liate Stehlik takes over as publisher of William Morrow/Eos/Avon, and
will continue to oversee Avon and Harper mass market titles. Collins
Living titles will be published as William Morrow books going
forward. Mary Ellen O’Neill joins that group as executive editor, and
will now run William Morrow cookbooks too.
Well, I hope it doesn’t hurt any writer here. I hope our careers are safe and prospering. Fingers crossed and cry to heaven. For certain, it means that once again, fewer books will be published by NYC. And once again, that leaves more new places for young, small, independent, and aggressive presses to snap up the fallen and surge forward. The face of publishing has changed. Forever. Should I be afraid? Probably. But I’m not and I’m not sure why, except that I’m married to a man who has never been afraid of anything, ever, and over the years some of that has rubbed off on me. I’m leaning on him today.
Publishing is burning away. I can’t wait to see what will rise from the ashes.