Thursday, December 17, 2009

Inappropriate illustrations

Oh, the deep regrets of FSG! Any kid-book author/illustrators out there wish to comment? Is it worse or better than being a rejected writer?


Anonymous said...

I'm a kid book author!

And I don't mind being repeatedly dinged as an illustrator...because man, I can't draw for spit, so it doesn't sting all that much, you know? Gaving FSG say: um, what? Is that a man or a mountain?

On the other hand being a mid-grade author means that one of the first things every everyone asks: did you do the cover? I love the cover!

And I used to go on and on humbly and truthfully that though the *idea* obviously came out of my writing, in fact I can't draw for spit and FSG always asks the man-or-mountain question---but actually FSG itself has given up paying for artists and original cover art, and gone to the the way, way (way) cheaper digitally-manipulated photos done pretty much in-house by its own book designers...

But as the years've passed I've been so brutalized by the untruthfulness of rejection ("we wish you great good luck in placing your material elsewhere") and scourged by the Age of 140-characters-or-less that nowadays all I twit is: u lik it? pretty much all mine---neato neato neato.

Which raises my cool factor to the nth degree, doncha think?


Anony said...

I never thought about it much before, but there is such a short window of time in a person's life when one reads childrens books. You lean to read at 4 or 5, then at 8 or 9 you move on to young adult books because that's what all the older kids are reading, and you don't want to be considered a baby.

At 15 or 16, people start reading adult novels, so at any given time, there are way more people demanding adult lit than childrens lit. Is that why it's harder to break into the childrens market? Because publishers calculate that there is less demand? Sorry, just wondering out loud.

Anonymous said...

All very true, Anony...other than that clean, white girl in the front row who reads the assigned Newberys and yearns for world peace, kids have way better things to do than read our books.

On the other hand, you've ignored the biggest,fastest-growing, most lucrative market in the great big world of kiddie lit----and that is the multitudes of children's books written for adults.

Yup. Adults. The curse and bane of children's literature. Kiddie lit's dirty little secret is that our books aren't really targeted for children after all---we're writing for the inner child in all you grownups out there.

Think teachers, librarians, your Aunt Mary (and her annual Christmas gift of either POLAR EXPRESS or MADELINE) and the godless pagan hordes of kid lit writers who buy each other's books, stir the interwebs with countless intrigues and who's-in-who's-out cliques (is it the same in the adult book world? Like being stuck in high school for more years than Eddie Cullen and his vegetarian lusts and desires?), and write soulfully, meaningfully, beyoutifully...for each other.

Now that's what we kid writers call an audience!