Acquiring for an imprint is, I think, a little like being a baseball general manager. They field a team to win; we field a list to make a profit. In so doing, there’s a fair amount of analysis of who/what is available coupled with, hopefully, a thorough understanding of what the team/house already does well. We have varied relationships with agents. And it behooves us to be dispassionate right up to the point where we have to be crazily, contagiously passionate about our choices.
Like GMs, we too make our acquisitions and place our bets in public to a degree (they’ve got ESPN et. al. and “hot stove”; we’ve got Publishers Marketplace), but fortunately readers, unlike fans, rarely develop a rooting interest in a house or an imprint, and thus I will never have to read something like this on a blog after I buy or decline a manuscript.
So, best wishes for you on getting a new left fielder, Brian Cashman. Hope Javier Vasquez works out the second time around. Me, I’m off in search of more first person YA aimed at the younger end of the genre.
For those scoring at home, that’s Branch Rickey (Dodgers, Jackie Robinson) on the top and Maxwell Perkins (Scribner, Hemingway and Fitzgerald) below him.