Saturday, February 3, 2018

Editor Panel: Daniel Nayeri

Daniel on the big screen

Daniel Nayeri is the publisher of a new imprint at Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. Previously, he was publisher at Workman Publishing Company, where he oversaw a team of designers, editors, and inventors in the pursuit of creating “art objects for great and terrible children.” Before that, he was digital editorial director at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, editor at Clarion Books, and before that, a professional pastry chef. Daniel was born in Iran and spent a couple of years as a refugee before immigrating to Oklahoma at age eight with his family. He is the author of several books for young readers, including The Most Dangerous Book; Straw House, Wood House, Brick House, Blow: Four Novellas; and How to Tell a Story.

Daniel starts by explaining how his still-to-be-named imprint as Macmillan Children's Publishing Group is a design-first group. They're focused on nonfiction with an interactive element or gift package. Four-color, substantive, and long. "Four to five times more expensive than a regular book." Which raises the acquisitions stakes...

He speaks next about fear: fear of making a bad acquisition, fear of missing out, fear of not having a big book this season,,, and what that fear does to every acquiring editor: they read "looking for the no." But if there's something they love about the work that demands to be on their list, they'll work with an author to fix everything else.

There's much more, including a discussion of how rejection doesn't mean your book is bad, wisdom and hope shared, and how the "mind-meld" as Tiffany Liao put it, of an editor working with an author is so important to them that they want to continue working with that author long into the future.

A fascinating panel!

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