Saturday, February 13, 2016

Megan Tingley: The Big Picture: Children's Publishing: Now and in the Near Future

Megan Tingley is the executive VP and publisher of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. She oversee the entire Young Reader's publishing program as well as acquires and edits a small list of titles for her own list.

Little, Brown has one division and they all work collaboratively to publish board books to young adult.

Mission statement : Publish great books well. They are committed to growth, innovation, and transparency.

The children's book division has gone from being the stepchild to the favorite child in their larger companies, and they are leaders in the diversity of their lists.

The huge successes in the children's book industry are very noticeable and people are then asking where is the next one. But this has also shown that children's books can behave like big adult titles. This gives children's publishing an opportunity to make more decisions.

This is an incredible time to be in publishing. The business has changed so much. The opportunity to get representation is better than before, there's far more exposure with social media, as well as a lot more media stories about the industry. Seeing a picture book win the Newbery and graphic novels winning awards shows an openness to different formats that are a great opportunity.

The notion that print books are going to go away, nobody is worrying about that.

Book creators often wonder, what is the measure of success?

Megan says the thing editors love most to do is discover new talent. Success can be becoming a New York Times bestseller or winning a Newbery or Caldecott, but don't see those as the only markers. Megan discovered a young artist Naoko Stoop walking in Brooklyn when Noako's paintings in a widow caught her eye. She then saw her work on Etsy and met with her about creating a book for kids. That book became Red Knit Cap Girl, both a personal and professional success.

Because of technology the industry has a chance to move more quickly and jump on trends.

1 comment:

  1. Is anyone else bothered by the lack of creativity among so many publishers who are locked into the currently prescribed number of words, pages, and illustrations that cannot be exceeded in a children's book. My recent book is 1177 words, and I was told that was not acceptable. It would have to be a maximum of 1000 words, divided up into so many words per page for either a 24 or 32 page book, with a specific number of illustrations. But I did not write the book with those prescriptions in mind. I wrote it because of an idea that came to me one day, an idea that appealed to me greatly as having the potential of becoming a very appealing, and amusing, little book, not only for a child, but also for the adult who may be reading it to the child. I was pleased, indeed, with what I then achieved, within my own chosen format and the number of words it took. And I assumed that a good editor would then work with me to shape the book into its final form. Only to be told that such unbridled creativity is simply and naively out of place in today's world of publishing. And so I ask once again. Is anyone else bothered by how rigidly publishers are locked into their currently accepted prescriptions, at the cost of stifling new approaches to greater creativity?
    Bill Glasser