This time of year is always full of reflection for me. My mood roams from hopefully excited about new possibilities to a sense of loss for times, people and situations past. I’ve learned to let ‘it roam’ and gleam the gems found in the journey. 2011 has brought many changes to our industry….it deserves reflection. I can’t help but feel that we must optimistically jump into 2012 with our eyes open to possibilities and pitfalls. Remember the past and cherish much of it, as we embrace the future, the new and the unknown.
I wanted to end the year with wisdom shared in two visits with valued clients this Fall. The first is Isabel Warren Lynch, the Executive Art Director at Knopf, and I’d asked her about e-books and Knopf’s wishes and plans. They are not looking at this time for original e-books but working on their own wonderful back list for gems to bring into a new format. This was the pearl of her comments: it’s not about format so much. It is about “what the author or artist has to say!” AMEN It’s all about the story…. appealing, distinct, and expressive. Whether printed book, e-book or story app, if the story and characters are intimate enough to touch readers/viewers they will be gathered and folded into those hearts.
Stephanie Lurie, Editorial Director of Hyperion (Disney) was wonderful to share with me some of her ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’. (please note that Hyperion does NOT consider any un-agented submissions per Disney legal policy.) Likes: “characters that are distinct and memorable and relatable to kids, universal themes, HUMOR, emotional resonance, short texts that allow illustrations to do 50% of the story telling, satisfying narrative, arc with ups and down, a climax, and resolution.” Dislikes: “Rhyme, morals, condescension, overly long and descriptive texts, ‘talking heads’, adult protagonists and/or concerns, one-joke books, concept books, ‘list-like’ books and stories that begin with an issue, situation or anecdote.” May I share that this list is a good overview of the industry in general these days….take heed. And thank you Isabel and Stephanie for sharing…..
So with these gems to guide us, I wish one and all a very creative new journey forward into 2012! cat (resting logo from Stacey Schuett)