Lisa was in conversation with Susanne Gervay. In a very funny but informative chat, we found some interesting things, including Lisa's top tips for being and staying published.
- Read kids' books. Lisa is always surprised by aspiring writers and illustrators who don't read
- Write from the heart
- Make sure your great idea has a STRONG VOICE
- Being published is always about the book, not a great cover letter or reference or work history
- Get out to schools and have something about your presentation that is unique
Susanne then asked about specific genres.
This is a tricky market, partly because retail has changed and when Borders and A&R closed, 25% of the kids' book market disappeared..BUT the good news is that alternative like Aldi are now becoming players, which means Lisa can open up her backlist and sell titles that once would have been forgotten.
This is rocking! Lisa sees a shift back to classic stories eg Judith Rossell's Withering By Sea. There is a trend towards collecting, especially for girl readers and a market for classy collectables. The story is what will determine higher production values such as marker ribbons, internal illustrations and hardcovers.
Series are hard to keep alive and there is a strong need to keep backing the title. Lisa will allow 2 books to go to print before deciding whether to go ahead with more. It is the publisher who will often decide the number of books in a series.
This is still in the contemporary phase. It is a great are for exploring all sorts of issues, but warns not to let the issue drive the story. There is still an issue with censorship and if there is something confronting in the book it has to be there for reason of the story.
Lisa isn't keen on high fantasy, partly because it doesn't sell well. There is a market for fantasy if it is done well.
Lisa's tip to gain the attention of thew reader....romance. Especially for YA...make sure there's a lot of yearning.
Submitting to Harper Collins
You can submit via 'The Wednesday Post" online but HC has also partnered with the CBCA Australia in the Aspiring Writers Mentorship Program. Contact HC for more.
Hearing from Marjorie and Sarah was not only a delight but a real education in how they make pictures and words work together.
When a publisher receives a text they. then have the task of deciding who would be the best illustrator for that project to create the book they envisage. Both Marjorie and Sarah said how important it was that illustrators try to absorb and understand the essence of the work. An emotional response to the work is important in creating the best result.