My Lunch with Richard

I’d a lovely lunch late last month with George Gibson, Publisher at Bloomsbury USA, a man generous with galleys and reading copies. And I, missing the daily activity of scheming how to connect a given book with the right readers, can be a little over-generous, i.e. maybe a wee bit loquacious, excessively unstinting with suggestions about what reviewer might like it, what bookseller handsell it, what institution host an event, etc., etc.

That day George was the unwitting beneficiary of me in full here’s-another-thing-you-could-do! effect. He’d brought along a galley of Wild Romance: A Victorian Story of a Marriage, A Trial, and a Self-Made Woman by Chloë Schama (no prizes for guessing Dad’s first name…), a love-gone-awry story, a courtroom drama (her husband denied they’d ever been married and she had to sue him to prove he was her husband) and adventuress’s tale, I thought it’d be great to send galleys to such denizens of genre romance like Sarah and Candy, Jane Litte, Kassia Kroszer, and so forth. And on I went, with solicited and unsolicited advice.

George, at the end of the lunch, graciously noted that his notes on our lunch could be rather useful, both for that book (I’d also suggested Erica Jong as a blurber) and for a few others we’d discussed. In turn, his advice to me was to start charging for such a lunch! I thereupon realized that yes, in terms of my time, and other people’s money, the best, most cost-effective consulting I could do would be ninety minutes over lunch with a publisher, or editor, or publicist, or agent to talk about a few books and offer some marketing tips. He suggested the sum of $250, which sounded reasonable to me.

So I hereby announce this as the primary mode of consultation I shall do from this point forth! Called “My Lunch with Richard,” after the movie of almost the same name, it’s a $250, 90-minute consult on topics of your choosing. You pay for lunch, but I swear I’m a cheap date. And it can be over coffee, if lunch ain’t your thing. Over breakfast would be nice, too! And over the phone or Skype if New York ain’t your place.

A way I can be useful and pay the rent as I get Cursor started-up, eh?