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'The dark forces of sales and marketing'

18 October 2004

'Editors nowadays move jobs much more frequently than before, and have little experience actually working with text. This leads to authors feeling unloved and badly treated. Young editors are being taught to be risk-averse, and although desperate to buy books, they are finding the barriers for entry get higher. They are going for the obvious choices or, tellingly, the novels which are in need of very little editorial work. Novels that merely show promise do not get sold - novels that are brilliant and in need of almost no attention do. All too often, it isn't the editor who calls the shots, but the dark forces of sales and marketing - the engine room of the business. An editor is going to have much more clout in arguing for marketing spend for a book they have paid £100,000 for than one which has cost a mere £20,000. It is less about the prose and more about the maths at this stage.'

Simon Trewin, literary agent at PFDRepresents authors of fiction and non-fiction, children's writers, screenwriters, playwrights, documentary makers, technicians, presenters and public speakers throughout the world. Has 85 years of international experience in all media. PDF now have a POD section. Some good advice for those seeking a representative., in the Independent on Sunday