Articles tagged with: candlewick
Posted by Kate on Aug 01, 2012
I think some people may have been surprised to see yesterday’s blog post about self-publishing on the Nosy Crow site.
We are, after all, a publisher (and I am going to concentrate on Nosy Crow as a publisher of “straight books”, whether ebooks or print books, in this post, by the way, not as a publisher of multimedia, interactive apps, which, of course, as many readers of this blog know, we also make).
I had several reasons for asking M G Harris to contribute.
The first was that it was a topical response to a Guardian article about social media as a means of marketing books. Given the experience of the author, the focus was on self-publishing, but the points made seemed pretty relevant to any author, whether self-published or traditionally published, or any publisher trying to use social media to connect with potential readers or advocates. The original article had generated a bit of discussion on Twitter, and M G Harris suggested that she had more to say on the topic than the 140 characters allowed.
The second was that I know her and like her. I have, as she said in the blog post, published her. She’s a shrewd, entrepreneurial business woman as well as an author, and I thought she’d have interesting things things to say.
I knew, though, that she’d be talking about her experience of self-publishing. But I think it is pretty pointless for publishers to pretend self-publishing doesn’t exist. M G Harris one of several authors I know who have tried it with modest success, though as she acknowledges in her blog post, she already had a platform and digital assets like the game that were available because the books to which her self-published book was connected were published “traditionally” by Scholastic.
There are people who think publishers are doomed: sad old dinosaurs lumbering around the end-game landscape of a Jurassic industry.
Of course, I believe in our role as a publisher. But, when self-publishing, particularly self-epublishing is cheap and easy and has lost so much of its stigma, I think that publishers need to be able to answer the question: what is a publisher for? To paraphrase Lytton Strachey, I think that every publisher has to be able to answer how we have a right to “interpose” ourselves between the author and the reader.
I believe that Nosy Crow brings several things as a publisher, and that, because of them, we have earned that right to “interpose”:
We select what we publish. Yesterday (I am on holiday – see the picture above of me and Adrian working), I immediately rejected three books sent to me by agents. I’ve no idea how many books were rejected by people back at the office. If yesterday was like any other day, we’ll have received between 10 and 20 unsolicited manuscripts. We are asked to consider for publication perhaps 6,000 books per year. This year, we will publish just over 30: we publish around half a per cent of what we are offered. But selection is only valuable if your selection is credible. At Nosy Crow, we believe in the judgments we make. Of course, we get things wrong: maybe we don’t like books that go on to be successes (though actually I can’t think of any right now); maybe we think things are promising that don’t then quite shape up the way we hope they would or sell the way we hoped they would; maybe we aren’t quite fast enough in our response to unsolicited manuscripts and they go elsewhere… I am not saying we’re perfect, but we set out to create a list of high-quality, child-focussed and parent-friendly books and apps. I think we’ve done that, and are increasingly recognised for doing so. We are building a brand that has meaning and reputation, and each book we publish benefits from that brand.
MAKING BOOKS BETTER
The idea that publishers sit twiddling their thumbs, waiting for a book to appear so that they can slap a cover on it and sell it is, in my experience, not one that reflects reality (though it’s one that I know that some people have). Nosy Crow, to a greater or lesser degree depending on the kind of book and the nature of the material we receive, intervenes in the content of the book. In my own experience, children’s publishers do this more than adult publishers, and perhaps Nosy Crow does it more than many publishers. I’m not talking about correcting punctuation and spelling mistakes here, though we do that too. I am talking about suggesting rewrites and restructures; suggesting changes to, or the elimination or addition of, plot-lines and characters and pieces of artwork; work on scansion and rhyme and the register of the language used; work on making sure that the page-turns in a picture book work with the sense of the story, so that each spread is a reveal. I am talking about making the book as good as it can be. This can be a frustrating and challenging process on both sides: we are pretty demanding, and if we really don’t think something’s working, we will ask the author or illustrator to do it again (and again and sometimes again) until we feel it is right. Sometimes we work on things directly ourselves, rewriting for authors with their agreement and doing detailed Photoshop work on artwork. We respect our authors and illustrators and their creative integrity, but we roll our sleeves up and change, or help them to change, their work in ways that we think make it better and more likely to be commercially successful.
We also want books to look and feel as good as they can, and spend time, money and effort on creating what we think are arresting covers that communicate to their audience of potential buyers. We choose formats for board books and picture books that we think suit the artwork style and age-group, and worry away at paper finishes, board weight, foil, spot-UV and matt lamination to ensure that, within financially viable limits, we have a physical product that is as attractive as we can make it.
It’s maybe worth saying at this point that sometimes we not only make books better… we quite simply make them. In our first year of publishing (2011), we wrote almost half of the illustrated books we published ourselves, working with illustrators and paper engineers to create the books. We often suggest ideas for series, for format and for sequels to authors and illustrators. We work hard to earn our own seat at the creative table.
ACCESS TO CUSTOMERS
The lowest-risk way to self-publish is to self-epublish. Of course ebooks are important, but last year in the UK children’s market they accounted for about 2% of the market by volume and 1% by value. And many of those ebooks are being read by adults (cult titles like The Hunger Games trilogy count as children’s books and are heavily read by adults).
To access the vast bulk of the children’s market, you still need printed books.
Our ebooks are sold by etailers.
Our print books are stocked and sold by etailers, supermarkets, bookstore chains, independent bookshops, toy stores, and gift and museum shops, book clubs, book fairs, display marketing companies and catalogue companies. We have, or have access to, an infrastructure that supports selling to them, supplying them, invoicing them and collecting money from them. We have a critical mass of titles and a reputation that means it’s worthwhile to them to deal with us.
We also have an international presence. We have relationships with Candlewick (on illustrated books) in the US and Canada and with Allen and Unwin in Australia. We have sold rights to our books in 18 languages so far, and we have close relationships with several continental European publishers who publish many of our books in translation.
We sell rights to books in other media and formats too: yesterday I was negotiating a deal with an educational publisher for educational rights in one of our titles, and with a theatre company for stage rights in another.
We’ve had great coverage in the trade press in the UK and the US, and in France and Germany too, and have had industry recognition in the form of our Independent Publishers Guild awards for Children’s Publisher of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and Innovation of the Year.
We think up, design and, where necessary, print marketing material including catalogues, rights brochures, point-of-sale material; posters, badges, and packs to enable bookshops to run children’s events themed round our books.
We secure (and pay for – see below) promotions with relevant retailers.
ACCESS TO CONSUMERS
Before you can access consumers, you have to understand them. When we take on a book at Nosy Crow, we have an idea of the child – age, gender, interests – that we believe is the core reader of that book. If we don’t know who a book is for, we don’t take it on. We then try to make sure that everything about that book – the cover, the title, the type-size, the word-count – “speaks to” that core reader. We know that there are children who are not our vision of the core reader who might enjoy that book, but I think we have to get it right for that core reader. Of course, because we’re a children’s book publisher, and because the number of books that children buy for themselves is, in the context of the overall market, negligible, we are also trying to appeal to gatekeepers – parents and other relatives, mums buying a birthday present for the child whose party their own child has been invited to, teachers and librarians.
We use social media to raise awareness of our books among adult buyers. We have over 11,000 followers on Twitter and 1,800 or so likes on Facebook. Of course some of these people are people in the industry but many are parents, grandparents, librarians and teachers and, of course, authors and illustrators, any of whom might want to buy our books. We also have a lively website (as you may know, if you’re reading this blog). In the last 12 months, we’ve had over 100,000 unique visitors viewing over half a million pages. We are connected to a network of bloggers, who raise awareness of our books for their often highly specialised audiences.
We also have access to traditional media – and we certainly still think that traditional media is important, and see the impact on sales of really favourable reviews. Our books and apps have been reviewed and featured in national broadsheets (like, recently, The New York Times and The Guardian) in mass-market papers, in parenting magazines, and on radio.
We arrange for authors to attend literary festivals and other events to meet their readers and potential readers (you can find out what the next ones are at the bottom of our home page in the “Come and Meet Us” section).
All of this takes skill and expertise. We think we are good at judging, good at shaping, good at marketing and publicising and good at selling. Many of us at Nosy Crow have been doing this for years. When we assess a book for publication; change the positioning of the eyes on a rabbit by less than a millimetre; review the match between typography and artwork on a cover; or negotiate a rights deal we are drawing on years of knowledge and experience (over quarter of a century in my case alone).
Did I say I was on holiday? Spelling doesn’t get corrected; books don’t get printed and reprinted; ebook files don’t get made; bibliographic data doesn’t get communicated; Frankfurt book fair brochures don’t get written and designed; review copies don’t get sent out; rights sales don’t happen and get recorded; authors don’t get booked for literary feestivals; tweets and blog posts don’t get posted without the expenditure of a lot of administrative and other time. Some of this work is pretty dull, actually. We don’t mind. It’s our job. And we love what we do. But it takes time, and time is something that many authors don’t have, even if they have the inclination to take on these tasks. What time they do have, they want to spend writing or illustrating: it’s probably what they do best.
As publishers, we take the financial risk. We pay our authors and illustrators advances up-front. We pay for covers to be designed. We pay printers for proofs and stock. We pay for the promotional slots that retailers offer us. We pay our own staff to make books the best they can be and to market and publicise our books. We pay for print and online marketing. We pay for stands, accommodation and travel to international book fairs.
And we pay for all of this before a single copy has been sold.
Then we pay to have our books in a warehouse. We pay to have our books sent out from the warehouse, to be invoiced, and for the debt to be collected. We pay to send authors to literary festivals. We pay to post copies to reviewers.
The financial risk, as I say, is ours. And we often take it on authors and illustrators with no track-record whatsovever – authors like Helen Peters and Paula Harrison, both published within the last few months; both of whom were “slush-pile” finds; and both of whom have been promoted by major UK retailers and sold internationally.
If we sell no copies, or fewer copies than we thought we would, we still bear many of those costs.
I know that epublishing eliminates some of these costs (the print and distribution element) but (a) that is a small part of the whole set of costs (around 9% of the cover price in the example of a typical children’s paperback fiction example I’ve just been working on) and (b) as I have said, just 2% of the children’s books sold last year in the UK were ebooks.
As an independent company, incidentally, we have an even more acute sense than perhaps is the case in the corporate world that the money we spend on acquiring and publishing books is money the shareholders could otherwise spend on cheese or cake or shoes for our kids.
As a publisher, we believe we use our brand, skills, knowledge, time and money to enable an author or illustrator to sell the best possible product in more places to more people than the author or illustrator would be able to do if they were working alone. We do this, we think, to the greater financial benefit of the author or illustrator than they would achieve should they choose to self-publish, while allowing the author and illustrator to focus on the thing they set out to do: to create a book.
Posted by Kate on Nov 16, 2011
Last week I came back from a trip to the US. I was joined half-way through by Deb, who’ll herself be writing about the Dust or Magic Conference we went to last weekend.
Arriving on the afternoon of Hallowe’en (but with a dinner appointment and jetlag that precluded going to the parade, in case you were wondering), I was in the US to see publishers. The key visit was to Candlewick Press in Somerville near Boston. They are about to launch their second season of illustrated books under the Nosy Crow imprint, and have already reprinted two of the first ten launch titles.
We were finalising the Fall 2012 programme.
I like talking about our books to Candlewick. Their comments about projects in their early stages are insightful and interesting, and provide a different editorial and design perspective, as well as a different culture perspective, that can help us refine books. Sometimes they even put their finger on some small detail that has been niggling us but that, in the rush of getting books to Frankfurt or some other deadline, we’ve managed to suppress. I find this process of refining through feedback is one of the great joys of rights selling… though, of course, we are talking about refinement here, not wholesale ripping apart and starting again.
I found them feeling confident about illustrated books and their ability to bring them to market. They were particularly excited by I Want My Hat Back by newcomer Jon Klassen, which has had excellent reviews from The New York Times among others. I brought back a copy for Axel Scheffler: it has a dark and grown-up sophistication (though it looks very simple) that I thought would appeal to him.
I spent the rest of the time in New York, with a packed schedule of fiction appointments (Candlewick’s Nosy Crow imprint is just for illustrated books). On my busiest day, I saw 13 publishers… though actually what I mean is that I saw the heads of 13 imprints at four different big publishers. While there was interest in our titles to follow up with pretty much all of the publishers that I saw, I found many of them focused on Young Adult fiction, with an emphasis on dystopian fantasies in particular (the halo effect of The Hunger Games and the forthcoming film is much in evidence) and fantasies in general. Many of the children’s publishers I spoke to acknowledged that they were acquiring and shaping books for an adult audience. This is a dance that Nosy Crow, with our emphasis on books for children under 12, has decided to sit out.
It’s also interesting to be be reminded of what titles, series and authors are selling in the US. Many, many books work on both sides of the Atlantic. Recent years have seen a reversal of the “Harry Potter tide” of books flowing from the UK to the US as US-originated books and series – Twilight and Wimpy Kid in particular – have dominated the UK market as well as the US market. But it’s always interesting to be reminded of the differences between the two markets, which this list of children’s bestsellers indicates. Some of these titles are familiar to the UK market, but many won’t be familiar to many people here at all. I remember buying rights to Goodnight Moon for – let’s be honest here – a ridiculously small advance because it wasn’t known here and had been out of print for years. The same is true of UK titles travelling to the US: Jacqueline Wilson books have never really sold in the US, for example and The Gruffalo isn’t a fixture of as many millions of children’s bookcases there either.
The Jacqueline Wilson phenomenon illustrates something that I’ve found throughout my time selling rights: with a few exceptions, often for older readers (Louise Rennison’s books, for example), “real-life” fictional stories that are set in the UK with a UK vernacular do not often sell well in the US. By contrast, stories rooted in real life from Judy Blume’s books to Wimpy Kid do often travel well from the US to the UK, though real-life books for younger readers often struggle to cross the Atlantic in either direction: it’s a source of real amazement to US publishers that Junie B Jones and Ramona are little known in the UK. It used to be the case that UK originated fantasy sold well in the US, but arguably there’s less need for it now that the US is home-growing and exporting series by Rick Riordan and Suzanne Collins among others.
Other recurring topics of conversation when I was in those New York offices were the impact of the loss of Borders and the growth of e-reading. There were many references to the prominence of the Nook in Barnes and Noble stores, and an expectation that the launch of the Amazon Fire would impact on children’s e-reader reading, not only directly as children get Amazon Fires as Holiday gifts, but also indirectly, as older devices are handed down the family.
Now I just have to get down to the follow-up…
Posted by Kate on Aug 10, 2011
Last week, on 4 August, while I was away, we published two further Noodle books illustrated by Marion Billet, Noodle Loves Bedtime and Noodle Loves to Eat.
These are very simple rhyming touch-and-feel books that would, I think, be exactly right for a baby aged between 6 and 18 months. When we were looking for an illustrator (Marion Billet is French, and none of us had worked with her before), we were influenced by the look of Japanese packaging, and Camilla had a line up of various Japanese biscuits and sweets on her desk.
We’ve sold rights to the books to the US (they’re going to be published under the Nosy Crow imprint by Candlewick). And that was an interesting process: Noodle was originally eating (chopped up) sausages and strawberries (not together, of course: that would be revolting), but Candlewick thought that sausages would be viewed as being bad for young children, and said that US paediatricians discouraged parents from giving strawberries to babies and toddlers because they were allergenic. So we changed the sausages to pasta (you can see on the “sausages” version, which is a proof, the line that indicates where the card will be cut so that the green, bumpy fabric can be felt through the hole):
Noodle with his sausages
Noodle with pasta
And we changed the strawberries to raspberries.
This was expensive and time-consuming (I mean, we love Candlewick, so nothing’s too much trouble, but still…). However, the only way that illustrated books (and particularly touch-and-feel books) are financially viable to produce is if we can collect together a really big print-run, printing our own (UK and Australia/New Zealand) copies together with copies for as many other countries as we can sell rights to. So, if you’re creating illustrated books, you have to accommodate the taste (literally, in this instance) and the cultures of different countries.
There are people who argue that this “internationalisation” leads to bland books. I don’t think it does, and looking round the halls at Bologna, I am always struck by the variation and I am very sure that many really great books wouldn’t get published if you only had the UK market to rely on: the example that I always give is that of The Gruffalo, of which, I think, perhaps 1,500 hardback copies were printed for the UK/Australia/New Zealand, but a financially viable print run was made up of this quantity plus quantities in other languages.
We’ve also so far sold rights in these books in Dutch, Portuguese and Italian – to countries where, it seems, pasta and raspberries are absolutely fine for babies – so it all ended well for Noodle.
Posted by Kate on Jun 16, 2011
Sebastian Walker founded Walker Books in 1979, aged 37. He died 12 years later, having achieved something remarkable. Walker Books was, and is, an excellent children’s book-only publishing company. He started the business in a back bedroom with a handful of colleagues and a bank loan. 12 years later, Walker Books was turning over £17 million (perhaps the equivalent of £27 million in today’s money), and publishing over 300 titles per year. In the years in which he ran the business, Walker published Where’s Wally by Martin Handford, Can’t You Sleep, Little Bear? by Martin Waddell and Barbara Frith, Five Minute’s Peace by Jill Murphy, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury, and Ten in the Bed by Penny Dale, among other great children’s illustrated books.
I never met him. I was at school when he set up Walker Books, and not many years into my publishing career when he died. I admired him from afar, though, and continue to admire his achievements and legacy. A few months ago, I read his sister, Mirabel Cecil’s, honest, detailed and touching biography, A Kind of Prospero (the title is taken from a phrase Maurice Sendak used to describe Sebastian Walker). Sebastian Walker seems to have been a mass of contradictions: gregarious but isolated; indiscreet but secretive; a gay man who struggled to sustain relationships but someone obsessed with the idea of family (who perhaps built his own “family” when he build his company); someone who, on the one hand, was devoted to his business but, on the other, someone who would nip out of the office for hours to hone his skills as a pianist; a charmer and a terrible snob; someone who demanded and provided enormous loyalty, but who sacked people in a way that was harsh and acrimonious; a publisher who spoke about the importance of literacy but someone who professed little interest in reading himself.
Julie Myerson gives her perspective in this article in The Guardian, My Hero Sebastian Walker. Altogether, he sounds fascinating and amazing… if capricious and difficult!
The Mirabel Cecil biography is also – and this was one of the reasons I wanted to read it – the only book I have found that is in large part about doing what I am spending my time doing: building a children’s book publishing company, beginning at a time of recession, with a clear sense of its own purpose and identity. Mirabel Cecil gives information about turnover, staff numbers, office moves and title count over the years in a way that is useful – and inspiring – to the founder of a business that has been publishing for exactly five months!
The other reason that I read the book is that Nosy Crow has its own connection with Walker Books: Candlewick Press, who will begin publishing books under a Nosy Crow imprint in two months, is the US division of Walker Books. Sebastian Walker made the decision to start up in America, and the company was set up in the year he died. Candlewick Press is a substantial – and the fastest-growing independent – US children’s pulbishing company. It publishes some great books originated by Walker UK (like Lucy Cousin’s Maisy Mouse Books, and Guess How Much I Love You) and is the original publisher of books by best-selling and award-winning authors like Kate DiCamillo (Because of Winn-Dixie, The Tale of Desperaux),Megan McDonald (the Judy Moody and Stink books) and M T Anderson (the Octavian Nothing books).
In his twelve years at the helm of Walker Books, Sebastian Walker built a business and a brand; impacted on the standards of picture book production and design internationally; made the UK children’s publishing business more international as publishers sought to emulate his success with co-edition publishing (I wrote about this in my post about this year’s Bologna Book Fair); and challenged bookselling conventions (he struck a deal with Sainsbury’s to publish children’s books under the Sainsbury’s brand, for example). He changed children’s publishing in the UK. Who knows what else he’d have achieved and what new directions he’d have taken had he lived another 20 years?
Posted by Kate on May 12, 2011
Yesterday, the Nosy Crows had a bit of a lunch-time knees-up to celebrate (nearly) 15 months of existence and (nearly) 5 months of publishing. It was a non-birthday party, because we hadn’t been able to get ourselves organised enough to celebrate earlier. We’d love to have a photograph to show you what it was like, but our usual Nosy Crow photographic incompetence precludes this.
I wrote about our real birthday in our blog post of 22 February.
Adrian cooked, mainly Ottolenghi stuff as we have some vegetarians/borderline vegetarians in our group, and, besides, the recipes are great. I wheeled out the old pavlova trick. We ate like hogs, and staggered off into the early evening.
Because of how we work – three of us work from home, and some of us work part-time – and because we have as few formal meetings as possible, we don’t spend much time round a table, so it was great to have us all (well, nearly all: Deb’s in Rome but we couldn’t bear to postpone any further) in one room just to talk.
And it was a welcome moment to stop (because we hardly ever have time to stop) and think about what we’d achieved so far.
We now have nine books published in the UK:
Small Blue Thing
Mega Mash-up: Romans v Dinosaurs on Mars
Mega Mash-up: Robots v Gorillas in the Desert
Bizzy Bear: Fun on the Farm
Bizzy Bear: Let’s Go and Play
Pip and Posy: The Super Scooter
Pip and Posy: The Little Puddle
Noodle Loves to Cuddle
Noodle Loves the Beach
The first few are also published in Australia /New Zealand via Allen and Unwin, and many will be published in the second half of the year in the USA/Canada by Candlewick Press under the Nosy Crow imprint. So far, we’ve sold rights to translate these books to publishers in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Holland, Germany, France, Israel, Korea and China.
We have one app, The Three Little Pigs, available in the App Stores throughout the world, which has been named as one of the top 10 children’s book apps by the New York Times, and been extensively reviewed and praised by people who’ve bought it, bloggers specialising in apps and some of the increasing number of children’s book reviewers who are turning their attention to children’s reading experiences on the iPad (you can see most of the reviews on our The Three Little Pigs page of the Media Kit section of our website. The app will be published in German by Carlsen and in French by Gallimard Jeunesse.
We feel lucky to have pulled together the team we have – people with the best possible experience in fields as diverse as computer games coding, picture book design and children’s fiction commissioning (you can find out more about each of us in the Who Are We? section in the About As part of our website.
It’s not all cakes and ale: these are exceptionally tough times to be a print publisher, and the apps market is in its infancy, but, 15 months on, we reckon that we’ve made the best possible start and are toddling along nicely.
Posted by Deb on Apr 25, 2011
The first two books by Axel Scheffler for Nosy Crow, Pip and Posy: The Super Scooter and Pip and Posy: The Little Puddle are now out – you should find them in all good UK and Irish bookshops and many supermarkets.
Pip and Posy: The Super Scooter was reviewed in an Easter children’s books round-up in The Guardian on Saturday, and the books have been listed as big books for Book Expo America (Candlewick Press will publish them in December 2011).
Axel’s done some “proper” interviews: I wrote about them in an earlier blog.
But, when we were working on the books, I interviewed him too, while we filmed him drawing Pip and Posy. You can see the results in the video above.
Posted by Kate on Apr 08, 2011
Well, things got very real – and exciting – this week for Nosy Crow in North America.
Those of you who follow the blog will know that on March 10 (gosh: just under a month ago – things have moved fast since then!) we announced in our blog post that day that Boston-based Candlewick Press will co-publish the majority of Nosy Crow’s full-colour and illustrated titles in the US and Canada and Nosy Crow will become a new imprint of Candlewick Press.
Since then, as I say, things have moved quickly, and we’ve finalised the first Nosy Crow list for the US and Canada which will be published between August and December 2011. The books that will be published on the first Fall list are:
Dinosaur Dig! (publishing August in the US)
Noodle Loves to Cuddle and Noodle Loves Bedtime (publishing September in the US)
Bizzy Bear: Fun on the Farm and Bizzy Bear: Let’s Go and Play (publishing December in the US)
Pip and Posy: The Super Scooter and Pip and Posy: The Little Puddle (publishing December in the US)
Mega Mash-up: Romans v Dinosaurs on Mars, Mega Mash-up: Robots v Gorillas in the Desert and Mega Mash-up: Aliens v Mad Scientists under the Ocean (publishing December in the US)
I’ve spent the last few days with friends at Candlewick.
First, I went to Boston to present the SPRING 2012 list (because publishing never stops, folks, and we are now working on the titles that Candlewick will be publishing under the Nosy Crow imprint from January to July 2012).
Then I went to New York (and I do love New York), to present the Fall list to Random House Special Markets team (because Candlewick is distributed by Random House in the US and Canada and they do some of their specialist selling through Random House’s sales force) to present to the people who do deals with things as diverse as museum shops and Pampers. Then on to Scholastic (for whom I used to work and an organisation I hugely admire) to talk about the Nosy Crow/Candlewick list to David Allender of US clubs before a lunch with Lisa Dugan, Barnes and Noble’s baby, toddler and picture book buyer.
While I was in New York, I managed to meet up with Andi Meyer, who is clever, dedicated and nice, and who works on publicising our apps in the US and does a lot or our @nosycrowapps tweeting. It was, as it happens, the eve of the mention of The Three Little Pigs on CBS (you can see the clip here, but we didn’t know it was happening until it was happening, if you see what I mean. We had a lot to talk about over our pasta.
And now I’m writing this in a hotel near Niagara (the Canadian side – the photo is of the Canadian side of the falls and it was – really – glorious to see it yesterday evening), having presented the Fall list to the very nice people at Random House Canada (who do Candlewick’s selling in Canada).
It’s been a busy three days, but there’s nothing like being able to present great books – in person – to the people who will then be the advocates of those books as they make their way to readers more than five thousand miles away from the place that those books were created.
Posted by Imogen on Mar 10, 2011
For those of you who’ve been following the Nosy Crow story – and thank you if you have – you’ll know that we first entered into an agreement with Bounce to sell our books in the UK and Ireland and in most export markets. Then we announced that our partners for Australian and New Zealand distribution were Allen and Unwin. Now we are really pleased to be able to say that we’ve entered into a partnership with Candlewick Press, who are the US’s best-known independent US children’s publisher. Boston-based Candlewick Press will co-publish the majority of Nosy Crow’s full-colour and illustrated titles in the US and Canada and Nosy Crow will become a new imprint of Candlewick Press.
Candlewick Press will publish ten Nosy Crow titles in 2011.
Candlewick Press is an independent, employee-owned publisher based in Somerville, Massachusetts. Candlewick publishes outstanding children’s books for readers of all ages, including books by award-winning authors and illustrators such as M. T. Anderson, Kate DiCamillo, Laura Amy Schlitz, and David Ezra Stein; the widely acclaimed Judy Moody, Mercy Watson, and the -‘Ology_ series; and favorites such as Guess How Much I Love You, Where’s Waldo?, and the Maisy books. Candlewick’s parent company is London-based Walker Books Ltd.
Choosing a US partner is a huge step for our fledgling company, but the match between Nosy Crow and Candlewick on illustrated publishing felt right from the start of our discussions. Though our lists are complementary, we share the culture and liberties of independent publishers, and we share our exclusive focus on – and passion for – creating great things for children to read. As someone who began their career selling rights in UK books to US publishers, I’ve known and respected Karen Lotz, who’s the president and publisher of Candlewick Press, for many years, so I have watched Candlewick grow and prosper with huge admiration. We’re very proud to be associated with Candlewick.
Karen, said very nice things about – ahem – me and about Nosy Crow: “Kate Wilson’s exceptional depth of experience in global children’s publishing and her innovative vision for our industry’s future both shine through the launch of Nosy Crow. At Candlewick, we are thrilled to be able to offer these fantastic books for young children to the US and Canadian audiences through our joint imprint.”
The photo above shows the Candlewick team with Karen on the left and with me standing when they visited the Nosy Crow offices very recently.
If you want to know more about this from Nosy Crow’s perspective, email me on email@example.com
If you want to know more about this from Candlewick’s perspective, you could email firstname.lastname@example.org