aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Let go after 21 years in publishing - a veteran editor looks back a year later

So many folks in publishing lost their jobs in late 2008 or early 2009. I’m glad that doesn’t seem to be as prevalent now. I remember several times when you would hear that 35 folks had lost their jobs and you would frantically Google, wondering if it included your editor, your publicist, your marketing folks. (I did do something similar recently when the Oregonian cut back - again).

One of those folks in publishing who was let go was Bruce Tracy. He writes about:
[looking] at the faces of a stream of colleagues, etched with sorrow at my sacking and relief that it hadn’t been them. Until then I’d spent 21 happy years working as a book editor in major publishing houses, the last 10 as editorial director of an imprint.

We all knew change was coming. The book market had been disastrous, and our corporation had undertaken a major reorganization, folding divisions into others. Either realistic or paranoid enough to consider myself a prime target, I’d begun taking personal items home a few weeks before.

Still, it hurt. Nobody likes having decisions made for them.

I’d received the news the evening before. The moment my immediate supervisor, a woman 12 years my junior, closed the door behind her, I knew what was happening. It was in the air; I’d felt the dark wings beating above my head. She told me the basics of my severance, and whom in human resources to contact in the morning.

I thanked her. I told her I’d make a list of authors and literary agents who should be contacted. I later realized she already had that list in the folder in her hand. My autopsy had already been performed.
To read more about how Tracy suffered and ultimately emerged okay, you can read the full article here. It appeared in the New York Post, which I will admit is not where I would expect to find it.

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