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Anatomy of a Picture Book Frontlist

12 October 2017

From Publishers Weekly:

One thing I need to get done today is go through the picture book frontlist of Harper’s Winter ’18 titles. I have a sales call for it on Friday. We are a rural store and rep appointments are mostly done by phone, so this means reading though a sales kit of F&Gs beforehand. I thought it would be interesting to make a list of what I was hoping to find in the box and then see how what I found matched up. Here’s the list.

  1. At least one book, hopefully two, that I absolutely love and can handsell to the nines. Ideally it would be an easy handsell, whose interplay of text and illustration is gestalt and intrinsically engaging. A true store favorite like A House in the Woods.
  2. Around five strong books which fill evergreen needs at the store, great new baby gifts, sibling anxieties, birthday books, books that have a moose in them, solid new entries by established authors and whatnot.

. . . .

5. Finally, recognizing that most of the books will fall into the category of being not so bad, and being mindful of the Scarlet Pimpernel’s observation that “there is nothing quite so bad as something which is not so bad,” I hope that one of the books will be spectacularly ill considered, a la Bronto Eats Meat, just for the edifying window it provides into the industry and humanity in general, and the appreciation for quality titles which we should never take for granted.

Link to the rest at Publishers Weekly

Since PG is entertained by much that is ill considered, here’s a link to Bronto Eats Meat.

Children's Books

4 Comments to “Anatomy of a Picture Book Frontlist”

  1. “Bronto eats meat” got very mixed reviews…

    • More evidence that it was ill considered, Dave.

    • Okay I looked at the cover. And got a bad feeling when I saw the child. Yeah. Then the reviews … I’m astonished that the book got past the editors. They’re usually keen to make sure a kid’s picture book is age-appropriate (like the tagline for Kix Cereal, “Kid-tested, Mother-approved”).

      *Shudder.*

    • Okay I looked at the cover. And got a bad feeling when I saw the child. Yeah. Then the reviews … I’m astonished that the book got past the editors. They’re usually keen to make sure a kid’s picture book is age-appropriate (like the tagline for Kix Cereal, “Kid-tested, Mother-approved”).

      *Shudder.*

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