Saturday, September 26, 2009

Behind the Scenes at Candlewick with Associate Editor Kaylan Adair

Candlewick Press was named the fastest growing publisher by Publisher’s Weekly. They do board books, picture books (the backbone of Candlewick’s list), brand new readers (books for someone just learning to read), early readers (for children beginning to read on their own), chapter books (5-7 short chapters), middle grade fiction, nonfiction (picture books through anthologies for older readers), young adult fiction. Genres run the gamut. They are looking for strong writing.

Kaylan showed a photo of the Candlewick library where they keep multiple copies of all books currently in print. They have a separate library full of archived copies of out-of-print books.

The Candlewick Meetings:
No acquisitions meeting: The editors are given the freedom to acquire projects.
Production Meeting: Weekly meetings to discuss the status & titles on current and future lists
Picture Book Meeting: discussing picture book submissions
Illustrator Search Meeting: editor meets with designers to discuss potential illustrators for a picture book
Sketches Arrive: editor & designer look at sketches and make suggestions
Final Art Arrives: artwork is scanned and designer puts everything into layout
Covers Meeting: evaluating cover designs. All departments work together on this one.

Kaylan showed an example of the cover selection process for the book, Swim the Fly. There were 25 steps to finding the right cover!

Kaylan Adair has worked on more than 100 titles. She acquires everything from picture books to upper YA. She is looking for well-written stories with interesting characters, strong, unique voice, and lots of heart.

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