Big Changes at HarperCollins

Tuesday, February 10, 2009
My agent, Al Longden, sent me an email regarding HarperCollins. The publisher is "closing the Collins Division and realigning the imprint." Meaning that average Americans aren't the only ones tightening their belts. The company is condensing to protect itself.

CEO Brian Murray writes to employees: "Over the last several months, the unstable economy has had a significant impact on businesses and consumer spending. Our industry is not immune to these market forces, and there is increasing pressure on us, along with our retail and wholesale partners, to adjust....

"However, given the continued uncertainty in the market and soft revenues for the company, we need to take further action to align our cost basis with expected revenues. I have asked each division to evaluate their business and begin the process to meet this goal. Unfortunately, in some HarperCollins divisions, implementing these plans will result in a reduction in workforce. These are difficult decisions that were not made lightly.

"Although we are facing new challenges today, we know that our company will again see a strong market. HarperCollins has a nearly 200 year history of managing through business cycles much more difficult than today’s. I am confident that our authors, our ambitious publishing plan and our creativity will carry us forward."

HarperCollins isn't the only publisher that's had to cut back. Believe it or not, this directly affects me. It leaves me wondering what the company (and other's like it) will do with the MS they currently have under submission. One things for sure, it'll be harder for the majority of us to find a publisher now.

I don't' know about you, but I thought it was hard enough already.

My fellow writers, as the publishers tighten their belts, we must tighten our writing. Make it so good they can't say no!


  1. This is very sad news indeed. I think you have a good point about tightening our writing. I'm not sure if I'll ever reach the point where a publisher can't say no, but I can try. :)

    I wish you luck. Hope this doesn't affect you too much in the long run.

  1. Anonymous said...:

    It is sad, but perhaps this is yet another mark of transition. Times of transition are often difficult.

    I'm trying to be optimistic about it all and focus on what this might bring for the future. Perhaps it's hard now for us writers, but maybe it won't always be as difficult. It may be a little while, but we'll get through it--and we'll be stronger for it!

  1. LG: Sounds like you're closer than most.
    Dara: Love the attitude! ;)

  1. best of luck; i know you'll land on your feet, amber.

    i keep wondering if there are lessons to be learned from the last great depression... what was 'hot' then? are people going to start looking for happy, perky stories? not that it's going to change what i write, but it sure makes me curious :)

  1. Anonymous said...:

    I think it's around 107K or so. I'm guessing it will be around 120K at the end of the first draft. I know there are chapters that I'll probably cut as well as ones that will need info added. I think by the final draft it may be around 105-110 but who knows.

    Thanks for commenting on my blog!

  1. Patti said...:

    I'm really beginning to think my timing totally sucks as I'm about to submit my first novel.

    Hopefully there's hope around the corner.

  1. Alex: Thanks for the confidence. It helps to booster my own. :)

    Patti: I know what you mean about the timing. Crappy huh?

  1. Anonymous said...:

    I think I'd be able to get it somewhere between 100 and 105--that's the goal anyway.

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