Thursday, July 22, 2010
First, I have to congratulate you on the fabulous success that you have had with Publishers Lunch and Publishers Marketplace. I wonder regularly how much money you turned down from Reed, presuming that Reed was smart enough to offer to buy you out. Because, let's face it, you have pretty much single-handedly gutted PUBLISHERS WEEKLY's subscription base. Why subscribe to PW when you have PM? And I say this not with any scorn or blame. It's simply a fact.
But I do have a couple of requests. I wish you would use some technology to make it easier for those us subscribing to use the information from your site more effectively. For example, how about adding vCards so that we can easily download contact information to our own Outlook for use? And, even better, how about a centralized database that we can search and download contact information from? Because the biggest headache for me is that whenever I get a new Publishers Lunch or Weekly Deluxe, I have to read it and parse the editors' information, and update Outlook. This is a huge and time-consuming task that therefore doesn't get done often. Couldn't you do it for us? After all, you already have all of the data in your database. Couldn't you just make it easier for us to access and use?
I have had many interns over the years and it seems that quite a few schools use a web-based version of Outlook and I've wondered why you haven't created a central address book for all of publishing from all of the data you have. Then let us subscribers access that and download the information as needed. That would be a huge service to agents. I imagine it would be a bit like Plaxo for Publishing. Oh, lordy, would that be nice!
It's actually a bit shocking to me how bad editors are at communicating with agents what they want to publish and where they might be working now. Back when I used Plaxo, I'd send out requests a few times a year and get a hundred responses with new titles, new phone numbers, and new email addresses. It would be great if editors simply got that info out themselves but, since they do not, perhaps PM could use its power and technology to pull that information together and keep us all updated with a central database. And add to it some description of the types of books they want to buy (check out the What We Want page for my agency at http://www.zackcompany.com/what-we-want.html for an example) and you'd be making our jobs a lot easier.
Posted by Andrew Zack at 10:16 AM