Alvina Ling is Vice President and editor-in-chief at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (where she's worked since 1999.) She oversees Little, Brown's core publishing program (including picture books, middle grade, and young adult), and edits children's books for all ages.
Some highlights of Alvina's comments:
"When we acquire a book, we generally want to acquire an author and an author's career."
On whether there are other considerations besides the manuscript in making the decision, "very occasionally" Alvina will see if the author has an online presence--a website, or are on twitter. But as she explains, it's "not a deciding factor, but can contribute."
About asking for revisions before signing a project, Alvina agrees that it's more suggestive than proscriptive, and she recalls working with Peter Brown for a year before signing his first book.
The panel also covers joint versus separate accounting, how auctions work, and important "gets" in the negotiation process and the pros and cons of working with younger versus more senior editors.
Final Alvina wisdom from the panel:
"Since today is Valentines' day, you have to love what you do. We're all up here because we love what we do... love your work, love meeting the people."
It's great advice.
Want more Alvina wisdom? She's on twitter at @planetalvina
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