Well, it’s been a mild early spring for the most part…in most places.  Not sure March is going out like a lamb, but it’s been a nice month generally!  It makes me think of our changing market…. not what we expect all the time. Lets look at our market a bit…and project how artists can be part of it better.

At the winter SCBWI conference I hear there were mixed feelings, lots of questions and not many answers.  But have there ever been?  I can read articles from 20 years ago that sound like they were written today. Jean Feiwel mentioned that the publishing ‘lists’ sized down in children’s…but also that they were maybe ‘publishing more effectively’.  I think it was Barbara Marcus who said “this is a best seller business,”  which upset many, but how is that different from the past?  Publishers have to have best sellers to PAY for all the mid lists books they want to do too.  It is a Balancing Act.  Always has been. It was also shared that “digital sales are supplementing print – not cannibalizing it.” That can’t be a surprise can it?  It’s another way to get reading material into the hands and minds of our children.  Not bad.  Challenging maybe, but not bad.  E books and apps are a bit of a moving target however…changing as I write, but that’s an adventure in itself, isn’t it?

The headlines early this year were “Loses widen;” “Sales fall in 2011;” McGraw Hill fires 800 people.” etc.  BUT I just read in PW that sales are looking better so far this past quarter overall…especially in children’ books.  NICE.  But I still see the hesitancy and ‘tightness’ of the children’s book industry.  Optimistic but still very very careful.  Publishers are focusing their lists and looking for writers and illustrators who can HELP them get where they think they want to be.  OK, where that is might be a mystery to many of us, but we CAN help.  I advise artists to do their very best always…in whatever style they WANT to do.  I read this somewhere…. (sorry)  writers and artists need to ‘tell the story ONLY they can tell.’   Do something ONLY you can do.  Touch the heart and soul and make the reader laugh! Publishers are FOCUSING and tightening…you need to do the same. Understand who YOU are and what YOU have to contribute and SHOW, don’t TELL.  Give yourself permission to push your creativity and your characters.  Make both interesting and approachable.

So March turns into Spring for real and another quarter of industry surprises.  Good…that’s what it’s all about!  Take from that what you need…..  and from CAT artist Priscilla Burris an image that SHOWS that:


About catugeau

art agent
This entry was posted in Agency News, Biz issues, Image Share, industry tips, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to OUT LIKE A LAMB?

  1. falquet says:

    Thank you, Ms. art angel agent. That is very inspring, and focusing. One of my favorite teachers said “Try your Best, not your hardest.” Your piece reminded me of that. : ) Merci! Joan

  2. falquet says:

    Thank Ms. art angel agent, that is so inspiring. One of my favorite teachers said “Try your BEST, not your hardest.” Your piece reminded me of that. Merci! Joan

  3. Great inspiration! Thanks, Chris.

  4. deystudio says:

    Thank you for your inspiring posts Chris… great words as usual! 🙂

  5. Cheryl says:

    I took notes on your article… now off to FOCUS!

  6. Great words of wisdom!! Thank you once again for the inspiration, Chris!

  7. As usual, another informative piece of inspiration. Thank you once again, Chris!

  8. Chris, your post today reminded me a little of the Stock Market reports(semi addicted to the BNN channel:)
    “We see economic improvements and growth in the US market, but we remain cautious in our approach to the US Equities market, awaiting the 2nd quarter reports” (ha, made that up, but it’s based on broker/manager speak)
    I think your inspiring posts are always “Bullish” on PB’s, and I would much rather have the optimistic “Ferdinand”/Bull’s point of view, then the “Winnie the Pooh”/Bear’s pessimism:)
    Thank you!

    • catugeau says:

      Thanks Christine….I am a realist I believe…. I wouldn’t be IN the industry if I didn’t see it as forward and hopeful….but we have to be honest. I’ve seen this all before to be honest. Change, questions, fear, then a jump ahead. Just like the national and Stock Market. (and a lot of prayer!)

  9. Our March, in Ottawa Canada, came in like a Lion (snow) and out like a Lamb (warmish, sunny, no coat needed) Then, yesterday, it snowed/rained “April Fools”!!!!:)
    Chris, such a changing market, with animated and interactive PB app’s, ebooks, it’s hard to envision where Publishing will go but I do believe the future is looking good for those of us in this business. I don’t know if bound paper books will survive, but books will, in some form or other. Perhaps more PB’s will be published then ever before, with the lower costs, to the Publisher, of Illustrators working digitally and ebooks being far less expensive then print. (I’m not saying I, personally, want paperless books, just saying)
    My local Library has been loaning ebooks for a while now. It will take time to work out the “royalty” kinks, but yeah, I’m hopeful too!

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