Saturday, January 29, 2011

Jeannette Larson, Editorial Director: What Makes Your Work Publishable

Jeannette Larson, VP & Editorial Director, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Jeannette is sharing about her newly merged company: they publish picture books (like “Stella Luna” and “How I Became A Pirate!” as well as middle grade and YA, and she says about their kind of book:

“We have a literary soul.”

She oversees the list and the acquisitions of the other editors, and also edits her own books – mainly pb and middle grade - but she does a little bit of everything. Looking at their list, she comments on there being quite a few funny books and says that “lightheartedness is a hallmark” of the titles they put out.

They’re also publishing older and edgier books for teens, fantasy and reality, and she feels they have a lot of range and diversity on their list.

She’s discussing the market for children’s books, explaining how it’s:

Volatile and changing
Dynamic and challenging
And full of opportunity for those who are willing to embrace it!

She's going into details about those challenges, and some of the surprising upsides of all the changes - including technology (like this blog) that lets people who love books connect and that lets readers find the books they're going to love - and lets authors and publishers get the word out about their books in new ways.

The world of Children's Literature seems to all be in transition, but Jeannette seems optimistic and driven to publish books that are going to really work well and succeed.

And here's my favorite part of her breakout session:

regardless of what’s going on in the market, it comes back to the story and the writing.
All the changes might mean that how the story gets out there looks different, but it all comes back to good stories told well.

And that's something we can all work towards!

1 comment: