Saturday, January 28, 2012

Jean Feiwel: Children's Books: Today and Tomorrow

Jean Feiwel, Senior Vice President and Publishing Director, Feiwel & Friends (MacMillan)

Lin Oliver introduces Jean Feiwel as the Ursula Nordstrom of the next generation.

Jean Feiwel started at Avon Books, and was avid about children's books. She later joined Scholastic, where she brought middle-grade series came into being with series like The Babysitter's Club. Jean left Scholastic in 2005, hired by MacMillan, where she started Square Fish and Feiwel & Friends.

On change:
The retail landscape has seen great change. Borders going out of business was a huge loss. The good news is with the local bookstores. Growth and sales in the independents has been significant. Jean believes Amazon is a big threat: People go in and browse the bookshelves and then go home and buy the book from Amazon.

"The publisher needs you to be a  partner, to take responsibility for your work and be an advocate."

How viable are publishers?
Jean agrees with the other panelist on the importance of publishers. She said that not everyone is going to be published. For those books that can't be placed, self-publishing is an option.

"This is a best-seller business." After HARRY POTTER, the potential is out there to be a phenomenal bestseller.

An exciting new release from F&F: CINDER by Marissa Meyer about a Cinderella cyborg.

One sentence piece of advice:
"Stay strong. Have fun." (in two sentences)

You can read a pre-conference interview with Jean Feiwel HERE.

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