Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Talking turkey...

by Miriam

Yes, of course I’m grateful for my amazing family and friends, and my funny, smart, inventive and crazy co-workers. Yadda, yadda. Today, right before we go off to cook and eat until we can’t eat any more only to fix ourselves a sandwich with leftover turkey a few hours later, I want to share some of the things I’m thankful for about the venerable, bloody but unbowed publishing business. In no particular order, I’m grateful that

  • I was able to read Jonathan Franzen’s brilliant opus in hardcover (that book is HEAVY!) and Robert Harris’ delicious The Ghost Writer (strongly recommend it) on my Kindle. Turns out I still buy hardcovers and have the equivalent of my bedside table’s weighty load in my e-reader ready to dive into wherever I may be;
  • the e-book revolution, while metaphorically violent at times, has led to a fresh look at our raison d’etre: books, how they’re published, who reads them, what their value is;
  • there is a new optimism about how we can harness the power of electronic publishing for good and not evil;
  • Patti Smith won the National Book Award and pleaded with us not to abandon the book;
  • more people talk to me about books they love, loathe, are reading, want to read than ever before;
  • we’ve had numerous bestsellers this year, as well as huge sales of books that we hope will be bestsellers in a couple of years, as well as books that we didn’t sell for a lot of money but that were well published to lovely reviews;
  • publishers are starting to roll out some ridiculous new boilerplates whereby they try to aggregate every right known or that will eventually be devised by the next Mark Zuckerberg (yes, we agents will fight them tooth and nail on every point because publishers need to find ways to survive and thrive that are not at the expense of authors and their rights, but it indicates to me that they’re not keeling over and dying and are actually putting up a fight to remain relevant);
  • I get to meet and/or speak with talented, surprising, fascinating characters almost every day—a number of them clients and some clients to be—and have the opportunity to learn something from all of them (David Morrell told me, upon returning from his successful USO trip to Iraq, that the huge chandelier in Saddam’s main palace was made out of plastic!);
  • after 21 years of doing the same thing, I’m still having fun.

Happy Turkey Day everyone!

3 comments:

  1. I am thankful that after ten years of talking about writing and thinking about writing. I have finally started writing again.

    Not only that but I am thankful that I have met some of the greatest and most helpful people in this internet community that have gone above and beyond to educate me and others for no other reason other than the goodness in their hearts and the love of the business.

    Thank you and have a terrific turkey day.

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  2. I'm thankful for every act of kindness shown to me this past year- from the nurses who brought me heated blankets when I was shivering and made sure that they always used the smallest possible needle for my infusions to the one hired driver among dozens who, after asking about my eye surgeries (it's clear I'm still limited visually)zeroed out the space for his tip on the receipt and said "My gift to you- I'm grateful to have met you."

    I'm grateful to you, personally, Ms. Goderich, for taking the time to be kind to me earlier this year when you really didn't have to. May your kindness come back to you many, many times over.

    I wish you and yours (and everybody at DGLM of course!) the happiest of holidays. Hold on to every second, these kids of ours, they grow up way too fast.

    best,
    ~bru

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  3. I'm totally grateful for agents who've got your back.

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