The conference ended with a open session of questions and answers from a panel of book experts. The five member group included:
- Melissa Manlove (Chronicle Books)
- Nick Healy (Capstone Young Readers/Switch Press) Note: He’s looking for a great YA memoir.
- Andrea Brown (Andrea Brown Literary Agency)
- Caryn Wiseman (Andrea Brown Literary Agency)
- Jennifer Mattson (Andrea Brown Literary Agency)
I don’t exactly know who answered each of the questions, but the answers should provide insight into the current state of publishing.
- What advice to you have for never published writers? “Never say never – go for it.” “Value the manuscript that may not get published.” “If you get rejections don’t throw your work away.” “Patience and persistence are so important.”
- What’s the future of Non-Fiction? “Non-fiction is really hot again.”
- How does a children’s author increase their chance of getting published? “Stick with the basics of what children love and you have a better chance of getting published.”
- What are the current preferred word counts for the various levels of children books? “There are well publicized rules for word counts and they are broken every day. Just be in the ballpark.”
- Most sites list page counts rather than word counts. Is there a site that reports word counts? “Yes, go to Accelerated Reader .”
- What are your final thoughts as our group goes back into the lonely world of writing? “Keep networking, connecting. Take yourself serious as a writer.” “Everything you are working on moves you to your next manuscript.” “Learning to write is a rocky journey.”