Saturday, 8 December 2012

Conference - Saturday (Part 2)

Also on the second day, Saturday, were two more talks. The first was an Industry Panel consisting of Mara from Walker Books, Sarah from Hot Key, Janetta Otter-Barry and Kate Wilson from Nosy Crow. Mar publishes teen and younger fiction. She looks for voice, good story, writing and characters. Sarah publishes from 9 -19. Is enthusiatic about ebooks. She publishes both e and print books together. Looks for what she wants to read. Janetta only publishes books by her old authors from Frances Lincoln. Kate publishes from 0-12. Looks at transmedia.  Has to be child centric and mum friendly. Has to be sure they can do something for you.  Both Val and Viv work with illustrators, so I didn't take many notes about them being a writer.

Question time

Do you accept submissions and how? Kate: Yes. Sarah - Yes. Janetta - yes but shorter text picture books. Val - Yes, do research online and in bookshops. Viv - yes. Accepts PDFs of imaes. She will Google you. Mara - yes, even though the website says no. editorial@walker.

Mind if the ms goes to agent first? Mara says they let me have by -. If with agent then work is good. Kate said some agents she trusts. Vic said down to personality. Kate thinks that publishers offer more. Sarah said agents can get you into conversations you wouldn't get on your own. Kate never looks at agents who don't offer world rights.

If already published, mind? Sarah said no, submit idea. Kate also said no. Janetta only has established authors. Are you accepting fiction? Her area only. New editor to arrive.

Dream submission? Mara - strong junior fiction 9-12 like David Almond. Kate - not in this world, fantasy. Janetta - pb. Develop on list. Illustrative non-fiction. Work with other writers in other countries, so yes. Kate - author promotion - is cost factor overseas.

Trend for PB for older readers - No. Had to sell abroad. Historical fiction revival? Didn't realise that was dead. Has important place. Kate thinks it's interesting time for writers.

Later was State of the Nation where various people involved in the industry had a discussion, from bookseller, library to publisher. Childrens' Writers in South London was mentioned, something I'd not heard of and am interested in. The main thing said was It's not you, it's the bottom line, when talking about rejections. Publishers tend to put marketing to one lead author and the others have to fend for themselves. In the US, midlist authors are struggling. They look at low track records. US take more chance with new authors who have no track records. Looked at generate a bit. Come marketers. Claire agreed that easier to help debut authors.
Relentless Revolution (Digital) - Melissa said it's interesting time to work on. Wants to inc all authors. Think there's a plan to sell ebooks, too. Strategies in places. Claire said contracts, watching and waiting and figuring it out. Potential in ebooks for increasing readers. Wanting it to work for you. Matt said there is confusion in libraries about Amazon Prime. In libraries you can borrow as many books as you want for free but Amazon you have to pay for just one. Lin Oliver said we should embrace it all, and is excellent for all. Think of ourselves as creators. We have win Amazon. Issue of discoverability. Missing the gatekeeper. That we can read. Beverley said 1 in 6 books bought b y adults for kids by reader request. Should adapt. Don't forget story is at heart of it. Lin said we don't have to worry about gamasitation. Others can do that. Danger for kids to sustain reading text.

Endangered (libraries) School libraries aren't compulsory. Digital review - if that goes then public have no one that can check for them if councils are doing right. Matt got rather emotional about all this as he is a librarian. Candy wonders if libraries should fit in with what's going on. Matt said that libraries are for people who can't afford books, and are first contact with council. Lin said that libraries in the US are the same. They are using libraries more for functions such as homework, to learn and gather for the communities. Less likely to close then. Children can phone central library for tutorial help.

Merging of the giants. Claire thinks it's good news but fewer people to sell to. Problem is evaluation of books. Costs - if book is usual £12.99, then ridiculous now considering ebook prices being low. People now think that price of book is right.

And that is is for talks. Next time I will talk about author branding and performing and what I learnt.


Nell Dixon said...

Very interesting, Julie. Thank you for sharing.

Julie Day said...

Pleasure, Nell.

Heather Kilgour said...

Thanks Julie, that sounds pretty comprehensive. I almost feel like I was there.