Friday, January 30, 2009

Inside the Industry: Working together respectfully

http://images.barnesandnoble.com/images/19810000/19817878.JPGCover ImageCover Image


So, recently Joan and I were chatting about the process of board book production. We thought it would be great to share from the author/illustrator's viewpoint what makes the experience excellent. Much of this we gleaned from my recent rocking time with Rotem Moscovich at Scholastic. She's been awesome to work with!

1. Like any submission, it's great to hear back in a reasonable amount of time regarding purchase.
2. During the rewrite process, it's essential that the text to be respected and collaborated on between the author and editor. Changes in text made without author permission can be so deflating.
3. Keeping the author in the loop as the artist is chosen is a nicety.
4. Offering early imagery samples to the author helps the writer grow with the publisher and artist's vision.
5. Requesting and clearing all color changes with the artist prior to printing is greatly appreciated.
6. Providing early copies to both author and illustrator, before the release, aids both parties in celebrations and marketing.
7. Full marketing efforts for the board book are greatly appreciated.

I imagine editors and art directors have mental lists on what makes a good collaboration from their point of view. Anyone want to share? Feel free to comment or email me. I'll collect the input and represent the flipside.

~Lorie Ann Grover, author/illustrator

6 comments:

Justina said...

Very interesting! Board books are a mystery to me--so this was very illuminating. I'm curious about the editor / art director perspective.

Pasifik said...

I think they are all great toddler books. And must read books, thank!

Happy blogging,

Toddler Books

Joan Holub said...

LA 1. Like any submission, it's great to hear back in a reasonable amount of time regarding purchase.

JH: Reasonable to me is probably within two months. But I usually hear in 3 to 4. Sometimes as long as 9. Editors are busy. Sigh.

LA 2. During the rewrite process, it's essential that the text to be respected and collaborated on between the author and editor. Changes in text made without author permission can be so deflating.

JH: These changes do happen. Again, the busy thing. Especially now, with houses crunching staff, editors have so much on their plates. A time for authors to be understanding and helpful.

LA 3. Keeping the author in the loop as the artist is chosen is a nicety.

JH: Yep.

LA 4. Offering early imagery samples to the author helps the writer grow with the publisher and artist's vision.

JH: This usually happens for me. About half the time, I illustrate my own board/interactive books, which means I'm way inside the loop. :o)

LA 5. Requesting and clearing all color changes with the artist prior to printing is greatly appreciated.

JH: This gets skipped over often, and hasn't been a problem for me. You, Lorie Ann?

LA 6. Providing early copies to both author and illustrator, before the release, aids both parties in celebrations and marketing.

JH: This rarely happens. Not sure why. I try to do effective marketing and it would be easier with advance copies, but they aren't as common for board books as for MG/YA. Likely, it's the 4/C expense.


LA 7. Full marketing efforts for the board book are greatly appreciated.

JH: Woohoo! All marketing is appreciated. :o)

Great post, Lorie Ann!

Argh! What am I still doing up? It's almost 1 a.m. my time. Off to bed.

Lorie Ann Grover said...

Yes, I guess I do like to know of any color changes, Joan. Little Simon was kind to ask me about my color changes for the cover of When Daddy Comes Home. My brown otters turned purple. And I like them!

Great responses for how the disconnect happens. I'm sure it's all due to busyness and trying to do the best job!

holly cupala said...

This is so fascinating! I just dropped by to thank readertotz - I just ordered 3 readertotz selections for my cousin's three boys, ages 6, 4, and just born!

Lorie Ann Grover said...

So sweet, Holly!