Saturday, February 22, 2014

Jean Feiwel: The Future of Authorship

Jean Feiwel is a pioneer in our field. As editor-in-chief at Scholastic, she created middle-grade series paperback. Currently Jean is at Macmillan where she launched Feiwel & Friends and a paperback program called Squarefish.

A year ago Jean was on a train looking over the bestseller list and noticed a self-puslished book called SLAMMED. She got it, read it, and loved it. She then went after it but lost it at auction. Jean went after another with the same result, and decided to take a different approach. As a fan of talent-based reality shows, Jean liked this idea of marrying it with publishing, having a fan-base bring forth new talent. With that idea, she created Swoon Reads, a teen romance imprint.

How it works:
1. Submit a manuscript
2. Readers rate and comment
3. Highly rated manuscripts are read by Swoon
4. Swoon-worthy books are given a contract

This month Swoon Reads announced their first list. Both print and e-books are release simultaneously.

Jean says the interesting thing you see when crowdsourcing books is a different kind of trend than publishers think there are out there.

Self-published authors ask: What do I need you for?
Jean: Our editorial, our marketing, our partnership. Publishers add something to the equation.

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