The leavers

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.


2 responses to “The leavers

  1. I’m a couple of years out from the actual industry now. But I remember the merging, which tended to be painful for the sales reps we actually saw. As I have no reason to be tactful at this point, I really don’t see how these mergers helped anyone but people who were already well off.

  2. Glad you said that. At first I believed that the bad economy in general meant they had to scrimp and save, just like [some of] the rest of us, until it became apparent that in many cases they have as much disposable money as before. And someone – I forget who – told me there is no shortage of money in publishing.
    Although, one author who was accompanied by a senior publicist and chauffeur-driven round the country when we first met, was later driven round by the publicist, and next time served by the local reps for each event, and more recently travelled alone…

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