Blogger: Janet Kobobel Grant
When I grew up, Labor Day represented a clear demarcation between summer and fall. We:
- Put away our summer clothes, but especially our white shoes and purses.
- Went back to school the day after Labor Day.
- Ignored that sometimes nature didn’t agree with that line in the sand, as it kept the heat turned up.
Nowadays, as in so many aspects of life, the line between the seasons is blurred. We:
- Wear whatever appeals to us, regardless of season.
- Send our children back to school anywhere from mid-August to early September.
- Check the forecast to determine nature’s mood for any given day.
Publishing has its rhythms, too. But its traditions stand firm. During the summer:
- Publishing houses based in New York ask employees to work extra hours Mon.-Thurs. Offices are either closed all day Friday or close at noon. (The practice is followed even by those imprints located outside of New York.)
- So many employees take vacations, especially grabbing those waning dog days of August, that publishing committees can’t meet pretty much all summer to discuss potential new projects.
But after Labor Day is like a second new year. Employees:
- Have sent their children back to school.
- Used up all their vacation time during the summer.
- Returned to the office, invigorated and ready to scrimmage their way through the manuscript submissions that have collected over the summer.
- Convene publishing committee meetings and plow like a behemoth ship through the waves of manuscripts, fishing out the few deemed worthy and right for some upcoming publishing season for that house.
Let the new year begin tomorrow!
Happy Labor Day, Publishing World.