Best Childrens Book PublishersThe best children's book publishers
Big publishers, small and medium-sized companies with a long tradition and the indie's all have their own strong and weak points.
The overwhelming majority, however, have a varied catalogue of high-quality titles, act in a professional manner and keep an eye on the end listener/reader. Find someone who has written on similar subjects, has extensive book sales expertise and will treat you fairly and respectfully in your search for "the best".
An interview with children's book agent Andrea Brown
At the beginning of her professional life, Andrea Brown worked in the Dell Publishing Company and Random House Children's Schools. "But when Brown switched to Knopf/Pantheon for Young Readers, she realised that things were going to change. It was no longer free, for example, to provide its writers with certain prerogatives in its agreements.
Thus she chose to become an author and illustrator of children's literature. She' s a madman - she would never lead a life - but after seventeen years she has been selling a thousand children's literature, and in her own words "she has a beautiful life on the Californian coastline with sea views".
" Are you a restricted operative because you are living outside of New York? Andréa Brown: When I relocated to California in 1990, I found a vast Bay Area publisher fellowship, second only to New York, with about thirty regulars. I' ve found many writers, publishers and activists.
As I had already established a good name as an operative in New York, it didn't really make any difference where I was. Several New York operatives never eat with journalists - they will see them at meetings, but it's not the same. And I think it will help that I have an editing backgrounds, and many of the writers I am selling to now are old buddies from my early years.
There' still only a few of us who specialise in children's literature. Why is it so difficult to find an operative? Most of us treat more than we should. OLSWANGER: How should an author choose which agents to call? Brownn: I'm a member of the AAR--Association of Author's Representatives--the only agents' organization with a gun on ethic.
Recent writers might find it tougher to get an AAR Agent to take them on because most in businesses have been a long while and have full listings. However, authors should not have the feeling that they need an AAR operative. There' re many award-winning operatives who decide not to be members.
I would turn to younger, starving operatives if I were a new author looking for an operative, but I would do my research because working with an operative is much harder than a married couple. While you can get divorced from one partner and say goodbye, once you are selling a book with an asset, you are two bound together for the book's lifetime - which could be forever with a book that is a success.
Since it will be a tight bond, authors should make sure they like the agent's working styles. Authors should never reach an agreement on a deadline that ties them to an agents and they should only work with one agents as long as both sides are satisfied. What is the best way to get in touch with an agen?
BRAUN: Check out the offers and see which agencies deal with what you type. The majority of operatives want a request for information first, and it must be perfect: brief with two to three sections and little bio-information, unless it is pertinent to them. Provide a two to three line rehearsal of your typing to connect with the spy, because it's both a good typing and a business one.
Querying multiple operatives simultaneously. Authors are not cost-effective, so it will take longer to get word from an agent. What do you advise new authors? BRAUN: Most new authors think it's simple to type for them, but it's not. Even the best authors of children's books are not those who have babies, but those who speak of the newborn.
The majority of the new authors are stationery that would have been available for children in the 1980s, but not for children of the twenty-first Century. You won't be dealing with textbooks that won't upset them. Most of the guys waste their money and money to get out.
There is no need for another teeth rhyme or an alphabetical book. Oliwanger: What are the odds that a new author will be released today? BRAUN: The publishers are careful. This means that they buy from incumbent contributors and hire only a few new non-public. In order for a new author to be released now, the book must have a merchant tick or be a novel.
It has Quirky in it, and it contains newsletters. I' m seeing more volumes with a double use. They' re the kind of book and riddles, CD book and book that show up or go flying. Scientists are the ones who find it simplest to market for new authors. Last year I bought about twenty-five non-fiction titles, but most of all scientific and technical literature, among them activities book.
Mid-range and YA fictions are hard to find these day without names. Publishing houses cannot get the shelving place from the chain that wants serials and namesakes. Publishers publish their own paperback titles, which children in particular want. Publishing houses lose cash for hardback films.
In order to launch a competitively priced book and ask 18 dollars for it, the editorial staff want artworks in museums of the highest standard. You won't be working with many new picture-book authors. Is this the hardest period for authors since you've been in this line of work? Yes, it is more than ever before.
This is not a way for most editors to earn a livelihood, and while I have many customers who do this, they have been in businesses for a long while and even they sometimes can't afford to do it. What do you recommend to establish author? BRAUN: Author make a big error when they assume that when they get a book released, they are put.
Nowadays, you are only as good in publication as the sale of your latest book. Today, it is like the movie and TV world. Good criticism doesn't play a role either, unless the turnover is good, too. In the past, children's literature was resistant to these elements, but the large companies that have the most prints want large numbers from the children's literature they use.
Distribution and distribution have the authority. Writers cannot make the error of believing that the book works well just because an editorialist loves her book. It can' t be hard to work with writers either. I' ve heard writers say they don't mind if a writer is a good seller - if she's a prima donna, they won't be signing up for a new book.
Authors should therefore try to make the work of the editor as easy and professionally as possible. Authors have to dare themselves. Authors have to be patient. All this is a sluggish business - reading, getting deals and cash, seeing your book released, awaiting sale and royalty. Oliwanger: Should an writer put the contractual negotiation into the hand of an agen?
BRAUN: If you have an operative, don't be afraid to ask about the importance of terms. The writers have to signed the agreements, so make sure you know what you're getting into. When you write articles, you are the one who could be prosecuted if a child gets hurt while you read your book.
Tell your operative what's important to you. When you are an artisan, tell your agents that you want to sell your footage in one item. Ensure that you get reimbursement if the publishing house looses or damages your artwork - which happens all too often. What if you don't have an operative?
BRAUN: If you don't have an operative, I'm not advising you to sign a deal on your own. It is too complex and many publishers still have terrible agreements for unsolicited writers. You can either charge an attorney for entertaining (but not your co-worker, who has no idea what to do with publisher contracts) or call an attorney and ask him if he will only work on your agreement for a lump sum or on an per hour or not.
A lot of operatives will. Become an Author of the Guild or PEN and ask their attorneys for help, or ask a postedriend. Unauthorised writers will not get far to acquire e-grights, non-national titles, movie or television titles and merchandise titles. They must also be cautious about option, restitution of privileges, supply, revisions, reversals, global publication laws and guarantees and indemnities.
What is a writer's place in advertising? BRAUN: After the book has been released - and even before - an editor has to come out today and advertise the book. Publishers can't do that for all their titles, and of course the big ones get the promotional dollar. A number of agencies will not even take on new customers without a sales strategy and even a journalist tied to the work.
We are a media-driven company, and you need to let everyone know that your book is out there, otherwise there will be no selling or readings in the near term. A client of mine spends the year after her first novel was released advertising it instead of her second. I' m receiving hundrets of royalties and I see that the numbers of writers visiting school, library and bookstore are much better than those of writers sitting around waiting for publishers to buy their work.
Oliwanger: If the children's book trade is so hard, why do your customers remain in it? BRAUN: It's right that the children's book store is different than it was at the beginning and I was able to release a book just because I liked it. However, it is still one of the best companies to be - especially if you see a child in an airplane read one of your textbooks.
For example, a fun book will always go on sale. Writing from within, writing with your mind and your passions, and it may not seem a hard deal at all. Further testimonials by Anna Olswanger are available at Anna Olswanger Books.