No Good Deed

I couldn’t make this up. It just proves no   good deed goes unpunished.   I finished my book. Done. Chasing Hope was slated for publication in the spring. We are on Cape Cod for July 4th. All seemed right with the world.   My publisher is Blue Rider Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House, now the largest publisher in the world. As our kids are arriving I get an email from my editor, informing me that she lost her job. Huh?

She is young and talented, a rising star there. I just stared at that sentence on the computer. Then I read on. The President of Blue Rider, my patron, is out. In fact, everyone there is out of work. Wait, I yelled in my head. I did not even have the chance to send in my 300-page manuscript.

Penguin Random House controls 61 % of the book market. That is extraordinary concentration of power. We have discussed in this space what is happening in news. Really, it is in all media. These are bottom line business decisions. Public interest be damned.

I am lucky. Dutton, a venerable old publisher, is going to take over my book. I am lucky. I could have been at a loss for words or simply the frustrated keeper of lost words.

13 Responses to No Good Deed

  1. Brian L. June 29, 2017 at 8:40 pm #

    Yep, that sounds like Corporate America all right! The bottom line rules the show. So glad to hear you found a backup though. Have a great 4th!!

  2. Jan June 29, 2017 at 8:41 pm #

    Ouch; sorry for all involved.

  3. Jane June 30, 2017 at 10:24 am #

    Oh my. I’m sorry for those who have lost their positions. I’m glad your book is going forward, Richard. All the best, and enjoy your holiday.

  4. Amy Hunt June 30, 2017 at 3:29 pm #

    On our way to Cape Cod as well. Beyond excited to have a sink and shower in our little getaway place redone to accommodate a wheelchair user. My own kind of Independence Day. Happy fireworks. And great about your still-in-business book.

  5. Rita July 4, 2017 at 10:16 pm #

    This seems to be the topIc for Independence Day gatherings. Job creator appears to be fake news. Corporations have taken over healthcare, prisons and our last bastion of hope the free press. Unbelievable 🙁

  6. Christopher July 5, 2017 at 7:05 am #

    “The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.”
    ― David Foster Wallace

    I think about the people who’ve been treated unfairly, sometimes all of them I’ve known or heard of, especially when I’m in a bad place myself. It’s crushing and painful to look at. Then I think about all the things any number of these people have done for others, selflessly… and it becomes apparent that my head needs adjusting so I can follow their lead, not follow their pain to a dead end. Their inequity instructs my wisdom GPS. My feet may not work anymore, but even an albatross has a few solid landings eventually.

    Sorry to hear about your editor friend, Richard. May she find good employ post haste.

  7. Christopher July 5, 2017 at 3:26 pm #


    It’s interesting that all this happened around your book about hope.

    • Richard Cohen July 6, 2017 at 9:52 am #

      The irony was not lost on me. Publishing is big business. Why would we expect anything else. It looks as if I have landed at Dutton, a solid place. Stay tuned.


  8. Riley July 5, 2017 at 3:58 pm #

    Nothing like a little excitement on a big holiday. I’m glad Dutton stepped up, but certainly feel an all too familiar pang of anxiety about the carnage at Blue Rider.

    • Richard Cohen July 6, 2017 at 9:53 am #


      It’s a jungle out there.


  9. Hilary July 5, 2017 at 7:14 pm #

    F them!

    Can’t wait to read the book. I usually read your books in a day (maybe it’s sick minds think alike).

    I hope my kids never work in corporate America!

    Hope you had a good fourth with the family.

    PS – Where the heck is my invite to Cap Cod?

    • Richard Cohen July 6, 2017 at 9:55 am #

      In the mail?


  10. Dale July 6, 2017 at 7:40 pm #

    Resilient. A skill that cannot be taught. That’s you, Boss.

    P..S. the Great Whites are here! Anyone for a swim?