First of all, a tech note, the people have spoken and the people want full RSS feeds so they can read the blog in the RSS reader of their choice. I have reluctantly agreed to switch over on a trial basis — please, I beg of you, don’t forget to come out of your RSS Reader bubble and leave comments on the site!
I’m having lunch with an editor today, and I had breakfast with another editor yesterday, which really has me in a good mood. You see, while I’m told some people in the industry feel roughly the same way about agent/editor lunches as they do infectious diseases, I say bring on the viruses, and I’ll take a side of fries with that. I love ’em.
So here’s how the lunches basically work. An agent and editor will meet by an e-mail or a phone call or via a “you should know this person” suggestion from a third party, and then they agree to meet at a designated lunch spot. Carnations are not worn, and the first fun part of agent/editor lunches is actually finding the person who you are having lunch with. One editor I know actually got all the way to sitting down for lunch with the wrong person before figuring out that the guy wasn’t an agent.
Then, once you have safely established each other’s identity, you sit down for lunch and talk about what type of books the editor acquires, what type of clients the agent has, the weather, industry gossip of the moment, what trends you’re hearing about (can’t help it), etc. etc. After you’ve run out of book industry topics (usually before the appetizers), you find common interests, which is the part I really like, because if you do some digging people have some really amazing interests.
And then, at the end, the editor pays. That’s just the way it is. I think back in the sixteenth century an agent and editor had lunch (mutton, I’m guessing), flipped a coin, the editor lost, and ever since then that’s just the way it is.
Then, once the check has been paid, you exchange cards, express a mutual desire to work on a project together, and then you go back to work.
So, here’s the checklist: interesting company, lunch at good restaurant (for free), excitement of possible mistaken identity. What’s not to like??