April 5, 2016
For only a couple of thousand dollars, you can have lunch with one of the gatekeepers of New York publishing
by Simon Reichley
Getting your first book published can be hard work, even if your book is very good! And though there is no lack of advice on how to go about the task of getting a book deal, a lot of that advice is objectively (possibly satirically) bad. So, as a prospective author, who do you turn to?
Well, if you are in the enviably unique position of having several thousand dollars of liquid assets and some free time in the early afternoon, you can ask one yourself.
Ira Silverberg, a senior editor at Simon & Schuster, is auctioning off the opportunity to have lunch with him, pitch him a book, and discuss the inner workings of the publishing industry. The highest bid stands at $1,800 (!!!) and was made by an anonymous donor, identified as Pediatric Angel. Two other bidders have entered the fray, identified as Considerate Bidder #52715 and Pugloe.
According to Charitybuzz‘s auction page:
Think you’ve written the “great American novel?” Let 30 year industry veteran Ira Silverberg, previously of Sterling Lord Literistic and former Director of Literature Programs at the National Endowment for the Arts, be the judge. He’ll take you to lunch, listen to your book pitch, answer publishing questions and offer valuable advice.
Silverberg has represented a wide range of writers from the literary avante-garde, and his list includes The New York Times Bestsellers Ismael Beah, Adam Haslett and Neil Strauss. In October 2015, Silverberg joined Simon & Schuster’s adult trade imprint as Senior Editor.
Who knows? This might be the first step in finally getting that book contract!
That’s right, you could have an oyster po’boy with the editor of Neil Strauss, banner bearer of the American avant-garde and author of The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists.
Bids will be taken until Tuesday, April 12th. Proceeds from the auction will go to PS41, a public school in Greenwich Village.
Simon Reichley is the Director of Operations and Rights Manager at Melville House.