Twyla Weixl, author and illustrator, summarized our event in sunny Berlin
On September 4, 2011 we were delighted to host a talk by Barbara Lalicki, Senior Vice President and Editorial Director at HarperCollins Children’s Books USA. Barbara presented “Changes in Publishing and What’s Happening Now” as part of SCBWI’s Free Professional Series, at STORYTIME: Books and More Bookstore-Café in Berlin.
Barbara explained some of the significant changes in publishing, which have resulted from the growth of social networking. This new media has especially affected middle grade and young adult book marketing and promotion. She also said that authors who write book series have an advantage, as well as those who have established blogs and fan bases. These latter two platforms provide readers with an opportunity to follow and comment on their favourite authors’ activities. Editors at big publishing houses are depending more and more on agents because they have less time to edit, while trying to keep up with changes in book publishing.
Barbara predicted that middle-grade and early teen books will generate more interest in the future. As younger readers become ever more sophisticated and numerous, they’ll need books about more “grown-up” topics written appropriately for their developmental level.
Following Barbara’s presentation, several members benefited from individual manuscript critiques. Later, members also enjoyed a lively get-together, which provided an opportunity for far-flung SCBWI members to get to know each other and discuss various book projects and issues.