Yesterday, for the umpteenth time in the last couple of weeks an editor rejected a very good proposal of ours saying sorry, it’s just not big enough. And I thought, if editors and publishers keep trying to build front lists with “big” books at the expense of their backlists, then when this publishing economic downturn is over, there will be no backlist in the pipeline. And that will be disastrous for those publishers who seem to have forgotten that the backlist is the bread and butter of our business.
Over the past 20 plus years since I have been an agent, we at Dystel & Goderich have built a very strong backlist and it is in times like these that we depend upon those books to get us through.
It is so unfortunate that some of the smartest people in our business seem to have forgotten this valuable lesson.