Saturday, August 3, 2013

Deborah Halverson's Keynote: Market Report: An Up-To-The-Minute State of the Industry

Deborah Halverson on the conference big screen!

One of the benefits of membership in SCBWI -- and attending the SCBWI Summer Conference -- is access to essential industry information.

Deborah Halverson edited books for Harcourt Children's Books for ten years before she wrote the award-winning Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies and her own teen novels (Honk If You Hate Me and Big Mouth and upcoming picture books as well.)  A freelance editor and the founder of the writer's advice website, (did we mention she's the mother of triplets?), Deborah compiled and edited the 2013 Summer SCBWI Market Survey Publishers Of Books For Young Readers.

The 2013 Summer SCBWI Market Survey Publishers of Books For Young Readers includes many new imprints!

We start with a double introduction, first by Lin Oliver, then by Laurie Halse Anderson - which was both funny and an acknowledgement that while it's great to know what's going on in the market, maybe as individual illustrators and writers we should aim for the newest trend to be

"writing the book in your heart."

Deborah shares a snapshot of what's going on in our industry right now (from her research and interviews with industry insiders):

Longer picture book sales are up, MG sales are up, she covers stand-alone novels versus trilogies, the in-house development of projects, and how being previously self-published is not seen as the handicap it once was... there were so many details and facts about what agents and editors are looking for, what's selling, and even the "mood" behind the scenes of children's book publishing.

It's a fascinating, unique and remarkably valuable talk to better understand the business side of our industry and where our work might fit.  She's helping us do our homework, and do it well.

Knowing the market is critical, yet as Deborah reminds us,

"You can't write for the trends.  As long as it's strong and fresh, agents are open to it."

The Market Survey is in everyone's conference packet, and is available to SCBWI members at

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