Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cause For Concern

Recently Vera Nazarian announced that several Norilana anthologies would be postponed due to the worsening economy. In addition, another anthology would be published under a different arrangement.

Shortly thereafter, she announced that another anthology editor had decided to take her lineup to be published elsewhere, albeit under a new title, since the old title had belonged to a series.

Now another editor who had previously announced a one-year sabbatical in his annual anthology for purely personal reasons is looking at the possibility that he may go to another publisher for future volumes.

This is worrisome to me because it is looking very similar to what happens when there is a run on a bank. That is, concern about the future of the institution leads to an increasing number of people to decide to get out while it's still possible, resulting in an escalation of the institution's erosion.

Of course a publisher isn't quite like a bank -- editors deciding to pull their anthologies and seek other publishers isn't going to directly deprive other titles of their existence the way a large number of people withdrawing deposits can make it impossible for the bank to make good on the remaining depositors' money. The biggest question will be how book buyers behave -- if they keep buying existing Norilana titles, the situation can still be turned around.