What questions about children’s publishing would you like answered?

The programme for our upcoming conference, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Children’s Publishing (But Were Afraid to Ask) is almost complete, and it’s shaping up to be a fantastic day. The full schedule will be released next week – we have talks planned by The Guardian and Stylist columnist Lucy Mangan, agent Hilary Delamere, Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam author Tracey Corderoy, Waterstones Children’s Buyer Melissa Cox, Nosy Crow Managing Director Kate Wilson, and more.

But we’d also like to hear from you! Whether you’re an aspiring writer, hoping to begin a career in publishing, or just enthusiastic about children’s books, we want to know what you would like us to include on the day. What mysteries of the industry would you like unveiled? Is there one thing you’ve always wanted to know? Or one area of the industry that seems particularly opaque? Let us know in the comments underneath this post and we’ll try to cover as much as we can on the day.

In case you missed our first announcement, the conference is taking place on Saturday September 21 at the St Bride Foundation on Fleet Street in London. Early bird tickets are still available for just £99 (which includes morning and afternoon coffee breaks, lunch, and a glass of wine at the end of the day) – you can order them online here, or with the simple form below.


No Responses to “What questions about children’s publishing would you like answered?”

  • Will the publishing world ever embrace the concept of paying for “ideas” as opposed to a finished product? This is particularly so now that the traditional publishing process has moved from the book, to e-books, to Apps and other media. There must be many potential contributors who may have a fantastic conceptual idea, but it is one that they might not develop themselves because it is either not their style or it involves technical aspects for which they do not have the expertise – or indeed it might suit a particular style of an author currently engaged by the publishers.

  • Hi, Brian. I suppose I should be waiting for the conference to answer this, but we could always explore it in more detail there.

    I can’t speak for other publishers, but the truth is that we do, often quite informally, and not always publicly, pay for ideas – or, at least, things that aren’t fully realised by the person who comes up with the idea, but who may not have the particular skill or inclination to realise it. As you say, this is particularly true for multimedia projects… I include and novelty books and picture books in that definition of multimedia projects, involving, as they do, pictures and text. But I can think of at least one instance of this happening in fiction – a project we haven’t yet published.

    We haven’t yet had an app submission that felt sufficiently original or compelling for us to want to buy it just in the form of an idea.

    Finally – and I think I’ve said this elsewhere – we are proud of our own ability to come up with concepts and ideas: we think that’s part of what a publisher does (

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