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profen4
08-04-2010, 06:06 PM
Hi guys,

Quick question: Is the term "Stable of authors" used for literary agencies and publishing houses?

eg - (refering to a publisher) "Their stable of award winning authors . . .blah blah blah."

I just wasn't sure if "stable" implied an exclusive relationship. Authors have an exclusive relationship with their agency, but might be published by several publishing houses. Would it be more correct to say, "Their line up of award winning authors . . . " or is "stable" the correct term?

Maxinquaye
08-04-2010, 06:14 PM
Stable? So writers are horses kept in a stable? Sorry, I just don't like that term. :)

You employ your agent, the agent doesn't employ you. You're the boss. You're the top dog. You're not a piece of property kept in a stable, particularly not by your employee.

Susan Littlefield
08-04-2010, 06:22 PM
I think stable of authors is an odd term.

spike
08-04-2010, 06:24 PM
Hi guys,

Quick question: Is the term "Stable of authors" used for literary agencies and publishing houses?

eg - (refering to a publisher) "Their stable of award winning authors . . .blah blah blah."

I just wasn't sure if "stable" implied an exclusive relationship. Authors have an exclusive relationship with their agency, but might be published by several publishing houses. Would it be more correct to say, "Their line up of award winning authors . . . " or is "stable" the correct term?

I believe that is seen in screenwriting for TV shows, where you have a group of writers working on one show.

Perhaps in the past, when editors nurtured new writers, and writers were more loyal to the house that published them.

veinglory
08-04-2010, 06:26 PM
It seems to be a traditional term, in modern use I don't think it implies exclusivity to a publisher.

profen4
08-04-2010, 06:28 PM
for some reason I thought "stable" was to authors in a publishing house, like flock was to birds, or pod was to dolphins, murder was to crows . . . etc etc.

I'll use "line up" or "list" or just "Their award winning titles/authors . . . " etc.

Old Hack
08-04-2010, 11:05 PM
I always assume that "stable" refers to an agent's list, but I agree with others here: it's a bit odd and probably out-dated. List is better, and works for publishers AND agents.

Pamvhv
08-04-2010, 11:10 PM
James Patterson has "stable authors" the ones that he co-writes everything with.

Jamesaritchie
08-05-2010, 02:47 AM
Hi guys,

Quick question: Is the term "Stable of authors" used for literary agencies and publishing houses?

eg - (refering to a publisher) "Their stable of award winning authors . . .blah blah blah."

I just wasn't sure if "stable" implied an exclusive relationship. Authors have an exclusive relationship with their agency, but might be published by several publishing houses. Would it be more correct to say, "Their line up of award winning authors . . . " or is "stable" the correct term?

Yes, it applies to both, and is used in many other businesses. It's just a convenient term.

Polenth
08-05-2010, 03:04 AM
Stable doesn't mean exclusive. It's more like a stable of cats, where they live part-time at any house offering them food.

The term to worry about is family of authors. I've only seen that used by small publishers with author-unfriendly agreements. They use the family concept to guilt authors into putting up with bad treatment and keeping quiet about it. They also encourage them that family wouldn't take their writing to other publishers, because the family should be loyal to each other. (I'm not saying there aren't any reputable publishers who call their authors a family, but it's often a warning sign if a publisher uses that term).



Stable? So writers are horses kept in a stable? Sorry, I just don't like that term. :)

I'm fine with that, as long as I can be a My Little Pony.

Miss Plum
08-05-2010, 05:48 AM
I've heard "stable" in reference to numerous professions. Lawyers, salespeople, whatever.