Saturday, February 7, 2015

Editors’ Panel: Stephanie Owens Lurie

Stephanie Owens Lurie is the associate publisher of Disney-Hyperion, an imprint that publishes approximately eighty titles a year, for preschoolers through young adults. Stephanie manages a team of eighteen people and also edits picture books and novels. Recently she has had the privilege of collaborating with such authors as Bob Shea, Jonathan Stroud, Eoin Colfer, and Rick Riordan

Lurie has one word in regards to publishing: disruption. Old media has been turned upside down. For instance with ebooks, the delivery of content changed. That said, ebooks have flatlined, especially with children’s books. “Kids prefer physical books that can be held in their hands.” Lurie says. In addition, more authors are turning to self publishing, and more publishers are selling directly to the consumer, cutting out middle man like online retailers. Disruption.

Overseas, children paperback books sell well. But here in the states children love hard bound books. Book lovers can’t wait to get that brand new book in their hands and take selfies or “shelfies,” photos with books or bookshelves professing their love of books. 

Marketing is more important than ever. The majority of book sales happen in that first week of publication, so it’s important for authors to take to social networking. Today, fans demand to interact with a author through Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr. Social networking is a must. “John Green Tweets three times a day, interacting with readers,” Lurie says. Authors must feed their reader’s hunger for content.

An important question for authors to ask themselves: How can my story be expanded beyond the book? Books that get made into movies also drive more book sales, therefore more readers. 

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