Sunday, 1 July 2012

What do publishers say? Picture Books

 SCBWI's Roving Reporter, Wendy Fitzgerald reports on some of the highlights:

What do publishers say? Picture Books
Saturday - NSW Writers' Centre

Three Australian leading picture book publishers- Jeanmarie Morrosin (Random House), Tegan Morrison (ABC Books) and Karen Tayleur (Five Mile Press) an Sue Whiting (Walker Books) let us know what they are looking to publish.
Chaired by Frane Lessac
Tegan Morrison
  • Publishing around 30 picture books this year, but that includes
  • About 10-12 new books
  • Waiting time varies- ABC books and Harper Collins- team decision
  • Can be 4-6 weeks but can be longer
  • Not really accepting unsolicitored
  • Every book published gets a press release and copies sent out for review
  • Marketing- use all contacts- ties in with events….
  • Print run- 4,000 minimum varies
  • Korea seems to like our picture books and now China and US
  • The more promotion authors can do, the better- get out there and talk about it
  • It’s ok to take on multiple projects with different publishers
  • Gap in list? Anzac Day  Universal theme or topic, like Rudie Nudie.
Jeanmarie Morrison
  • Random House are accepting submissions
  • They are looking at more picture books- about 9-12 new books a year
  • Tough market – 3-4000  print run
  • Starting to sell more PB overseas
  • Aust picture books don’t sell well overseas
  • Authors need to get out and own your books
  • Gaps- best selling picture books.

 Karen Tayleur
  • Five Mile Press- 348 titles last year- children’s – ½ licencing Barby etc and board books
  • 15 picture books a year.
  • Be persistant and network and go to conferences etc
  • Good reviews are important.
  • Even bad reviews are publicity
  • 4,000 print run average
  • About 1/3 books sold overseas
  • Social media is a good place to spread the word- especially for introverts
  • Universal themes- seasons – friendship- humour
  • 0-8 year old age-
  • novelty books ( flap books)
  • Pre school
   Where do you go to get illustrator?
Style file- not friendly to use
Idea to make a website to go with the Illustrators showcase- Sarah Davis
UK sites
Illustrators Australia
Other books
Important to find the right match- Author and illustrator

Should authors have a website?
More important for illustrators
The story is the most important thing.

What about author illustrators?
Must be a brilliant author and a brilliant illustrator
How are novelty books presented?
Looking for overseas sale… novelty makes it different.
They do that.
Can an author send in more than one idea at a time?
Are you saying choose out of 3…. ?
Maybe better to send in one at a time.
There is a trend for less text… but depends on the story
Be open to cutting words when the pictures tell the story.
Leave room for the illustrator to bring their own vision
It’s like a marriage
Enhanced E Books
Diary of a wombat is getting an ap, but apps are expensive..
App are for marketing
Fixed format E Books are happening


  1. Great blog post. Very informative. Thanks for sharing.

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