When it comes to sending out Christmas cards to the lovely publicists who make my job much easier, my formerly organised and tidy mind reels. They change jobs. By which I mean they change publishers. I remember where I first encountered X, and possibly even where she (it is usually a she) went next. But when it comes to a third or fourth publishing house, my memory tends to suffer a little. ‘Where is she now?’
Sometimes they come full circle, and I encounter them back at the original company. Sometimes they leave very suddenly. One publishing house lost a couple of ‘my’ people between the Edinburgh Book Festival in August and the sending of my cards.
It’s nicest when they email to say goodbye, or when they pop up somewhere else soon afterwards.
It’s less nice when they have to leave. The trend for publishing giants of buying each other, thus becoming bigger still, seems to mean that there won’t be a job for everyone once the merger is done. And the pattern appears to be for the more senior publicists to go. I understand why, in a way. They earn – a little – more. But hopefully they also bring a lot of experience to the job.
I don’t know what the solution is. But I’ll miss them.