Saturday, August 8, 2009

ARI LEWIN: "How An Editor at Disney/Hyperion Evaluates and Acquires," Pt. 2

ARI LEWIN: "How An Editor at Disney/Hyperion Evaluates and Acquires," Pt. 2

Some highlights from Disney/Hyperion Senior Ed. ARI LEWIN'S lecture (Part 2)

-- Picture books - keep 'em short! Doesn't do original board books (too expensive to produce)

-- "Things I do not buy: I don't love a lot of historical fiction UNLESS the voice is so so good that blow me away. Examples of historical fiction that are exceptions include A Northern Light and The Book Thief."

-- "I personally have a tough time with quiet or slow-moving plots. Quiet, I don't do. I don't do a lot of problem novels unless the voice is really fresh." 

-- Editorial meetings are like "a really cool book club" where everyone reads the submission and discuss it in a "frank and honest" way and how it might do in acquisitions, publicity, and marketing before making a final decision. If editorial director approves, then they move to acquisitions.

-- Acquisitions meeting: She says people "dread" this because it's so important for editors who love a book and really want it to be published. What she does before she submits to acquisitions committee (they meet once a week): "I really have to come up with a sales handle. I have to write the flap copy and make it sound so exciting and compelling, just like something they would absolutely want... often times, I will massage what the story actually is because I know how I will edit/revise it. They will understand the direction I will take it in."

-- She also does an acquisitions form that has a one or two line sentence "sales handle," like "This is Men In Black meets Boarding School" for the marketing department. She went on to discuss the other aspects of how books are acquired, which include a profit loss statement etc. 

-- Earn out formula: Retail price of your book, $16.95 times the royalty (10%) times the number of copies gives you how much money the book earned, minus the reserves."

She does an Q&A now with the standing room only hall of conference goers. Again, a very informative nuts & bolts panel about the editor's point of view.

Posted by Paula Yoo

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