Friday, July 29, 2016

Justin Chanda: The State of the State of the Industry

Justin Chanda presents his keynote address at #LA16SCBWI

Justin Chanda is Vice President & Publisher of the four flagship children's imprints at Simon & Schuster: S&S Books for Young Readers, McElderry Books, Atheneum, and the new Salaam Reads. He oversees the publication of two hundred and fifty titles per year ranging from the youngest picture book to the edgiest YA. Justin continues to edit, working with the likes of Jon Sciezka, Loren Long, Kenneth Oppel, Patricia MacLachlan, Peter Brown, Michael Ian Black, Karma Wilson, Dan Krall, Morgan Matson, Mike Lupica, and Debbie Ohi. He is also the publisher of Saga press, a newly minted adult Sci-Fi-/Fantasy imprint. Follow him on Twitter @jpchanda

Some highlights from Justin's upbeat speech...

Justin covers statistics:

•Children's print books are up over last year
•Teen title sales (especially ebook sales) are down
•2015-2016 have been terrific years for Indie Bookstores

Justin covers trends:

"Trends are the mortal enemy of authentic writing"

And offers some excellent advice:

"The story comes first.
Your story, authentically told, in your own way."

His keynote discusses so much more, including the role of teachers and librarians who "are on the front lines of…getting the right book to the right kid." And how blockbusters "are not the true measure of a book's worth - nor should they be."

Final quote to share, from Justin's significant focus on diversity and how it is so necessary and needed in children's literature:

"Variety is the the true business of children's books, and business remains good."

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