Eternal optimism must be the attitude if one is to survive the roller coaster ride of the publishing business. There seems to be some new change every month if not every week.
For example, this past week we got word of three different editors at three different publishers leaving their current position. One shifted to another publisher who is glad to fill a needed role. But that means the current publisher will now have a position open that might create yet another shift somewhere else!
While “change” is normal, the variety in our work was illustrated quite well these past few days.
During the week we received news on a possible movie deal whose meeting finally came together.
A client asked me to look into possible accounting irregularities with their previous publisher because the numbers simply don’t add up.
Had an exchange with a foreign publisher regarding the translation rights to a client’s book.
In the past week we secured four new contracts for clients. In the same week we also turned down an offer from a publisher because it ultimately wasn’t the right partner for the project. And we also reviewed a contract where I told the client they should not sign as written because of confusing language I found in certain clauses. I also reviewed a client’s contract offer for a magazine article, because it was an unusual situation.
Then there were the 28 unsolicited email proposal submissions and the eleven received in the mail. (One addressed to the Steve White Agency…???).
Received three new proposals from existing clients. Also talked with an editor about what is happening in their slice of the industry.
As I told my wife on Friday, “The to-do list I started with on Monday did not have a single box checked off.”
Back at the beginning of this post I started with the words “eternal optimism.” There is intentionality to that phrase. The origin of the optimism can only be from an eternal source. I tend to default to the idea that if I just work hard enough and make the right decisions all would be well. But that puts the credit on my shoulders. Instead I should remember the source of it all. It is for God’s glory that we work in this industry of words. The variety of new things that cross the desk is exhilarating at times and daunting at others. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Thank you very much Mr Laube for another post despite the ‘to-do’ list waiting for you.
‘Eternal optimism’. Timely for me!
At times, I wonder how agents and editors make out time for family and sleep!
I hope I’d make it to the ‘client’ list soonest.
Steve, thank you for what you do. We, who are called to write, need an anchor to understand that change happens but God changes not. If we’re called to write then surely in His time, place and protection it will happen. Your encouragement is a blessing – your integrity refreshing. Thank you.
Refreshing to know we all have those “to-do” lists that morph by the minute. Impressive to see this agency work with honesty and commitment.
Thanks for taking the time to keep up this blog. It is a source of guidance to many of us who haven’t arrived anywhere but the computer chair yet.
God is good.
‘the computer chair’. so true. I think I’d love to add the writing table.
My “To DO” I make on Monday’s always seems to be tossed out, or extended by 10:00am that same day. Regardless, remaining optimistic despite the challenges today and tomorrow bring is difficult, but a must. Thanks for the reminder.
Thank you for your integrity as you stated in your blog, “We also reviewed a contract where I told the client they should not sign as written because of confusing language I found in certain clauses.”
Unfortunately, not all companies run their business that way. I once left a job as an ad exec for a magazine publisher after discovering they blatantly lied about their circulation and print run. I loved the job, needed the income, but couldn’t lie to my clients. In just a few weeks, God blessed me in return with a new job whose management integrity was solid.
I am always fascinated when I read all that you (and other reputable agents) do on their clients’ behalf. Taking the time to read contracts, analyze them and then share your wisdom with clients . . . so important for them, and for you. I so appreciate the integrity I read here in yours and your fellow agents’ blogposts. They truly encourage me.
My to-do lists usually morph and lengthen as I walk through each day. Sometimes things on the list get crossed off. And others? Well, let’s just say some items make the list transfer for a number days before being done. 🙂
I was encouraged.
Thank you for an interesting peak into “a week in the life of an agent.” I appreciate how transparent and genuine you are in your posts.
Thanks for the eternal reminder, Steve.
(Your to -o list resembles mine.)