Friday, July 31, 2009

The economy and publishing: an overview

Here's the start of a longish piece by Harold Underdown, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Children's Publishing. He looks at the industry and how it's doing in today's economy:

For more than a year the attention of everyone working in the U.S. children's books publishing industry has been focused on the economy. And though 2009 began with some reasonably good news about retail book sales in 2008, and early information for 2009 suggested only modest declines, we still feel uncertain about the future of our industry. I've followed the news and write these comments to put what's been happening in context, to share my thoughts about what could happen in the coming months, and to suggest how we should respond.

Keep in mind that publishing generally does not move in synch with the economy as a whole, and children's book publishing does not always move in synch with publishing as a whole. One major cause of the lack of synchronicity is the impact of school and library funding, changes in which take time to take effect. I'll come back to that....

Read the rest.


BJW said...

"how it's doing in today's economy." Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this segway dated? Shouldn't it now read, "in yesterday's economy?"

And hasn't "today's economy" finally reached the acronym stage yet? How much does it need to be used before it gets a nickname or something? I suggest something along the lines of, "buried-in-the-backyard-in-a-tin-can economy" or instead of the bullish market, the bull#%% market (much more accurate).

I think we should just all agree right now to call it the cow pie economy and be done with it. Who's with me?

Martha Brockenbrough said...

You know, it's sort of an insult to pie to have it associated with cows that way. But I am with you on the dark, fetid evils of the economy. It stinks!