Friday, July 31, 2015

Rotem Moscovich: The Road to Acquisitions

Rotem shares a few acquisition stories, here is one:

She reads us To the Sea by Cale Atkinson. It's important to be able for an author/illustrator to describe their story in a nutshell because Rotem does the same thing when she's doing a presentation for acquistions.

She asks us how we would position To the Sea, what its key note would be, the audience throws out:

  • friendship story
  • problem solving
  • summer
  • adorable characters
  • bold illustrations with limited palette
  • being seen

From that we get this nutshell: "A touching friendship story with stunning art about finding someone who really sees you."

Rotem then helps the audience hone their nutshells!

At Hyperion, marketing approval is integral to an acquisition. If Rotem thinks marketing might not "get" a potential book, she will do rounds of work on something before it goes to acquisition (that's a big deal given her time demands at work are for acquired books, which means Rotem does this additional

Rotem talks a little bit about the profit and loss statement, the P&L. Which is roughly: The quantity that they think they can sell in the first year + what they think they should pay the author + what the royalties look like ÷ if the book can go into board book eventually and/or ebooks x how other comparable books are doing in the market + the square root of π...

If Rotem is bringing a manuscript to an acquisition meeting, she will also bring her choices for who will illustrate to help the meeting attendees envision the project more fully.

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