Wednesday, January 21, 2009

How to Publish in a Recession: Look to the Backlist

Over at Conversational Reading, Scott Esposito is running an interesting series about publishing in a recession. Scott explains the point behind the series:
In order to get some a picture of how publishing beyond New York's giants is faring, I'm going to be conducting interviews with presses and publishing them here. I'll be interested to see if they're feeling the pain every bit as much as the big guys, or if their different publishing models are yielding different results. I'll also want to see what they're doing to stay competitive in this market and if they think the recession is going to shake up publishing at large.
The first interview is with Declan Spring, senior editor at New Directions, who is turning to the strong backlist to survive in tough times:
I'd say the main way we're reacting to the climate is really taking advantage of our backlist. There are so many incredible books and authors we've published over the years, some of which have fallen off peoples' radars. Many of these books are loved by other important authors, so for instance, rather than pay an advance for a new author and bring out a new book, we've discovered we can find one of these well-known authors to write an introduction for a book we already publish which the famous writer really loves."
If you're interested in these issues, the full interview is definitely worth reading.

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