Sunday, March 16, 2008

How Successful Authors Think

The Children's Book Insider has a great feature article about the mindset of successful authors. (It's near the bottom of the page.) My thanks to Laura Backes for putting it so nicely!


Anonymous said...

In that article, she says: "And only after their reputation was such that libraries would automatically buy any book with their name on it did these authors hear from their editors: 'You want to write sort of a historical readers' theater/character study/nonfiction/narrative to be used in history and literature classes? Go for it!'"

GOOD MASTERS, SWEET LADIES was the *first* book Laura Amy Schlitz sold to Candlewick (or any publisher). If the only example she can come up with contradicts her point, I'm not very impressed with the argument!

Anonymous said...

Hi EA! Thank you for this link.

I have to chime in here because while I agree with much of what Laura says, I think the word "successful" means many different things to many people. I know she refers to the library market but that is one segment of the industry.

By this, I mean some people would say success means making a lot of money quickly. Probably many people.

Some would say I want artistry... creativity...innovation.

Some would say I want recognition.

Some would say keep me working and filling those needed book spots because I need a constant money stream.

Some would say getting published in any way means I am successful.

And some write for posterity. Or to contribute to literature. To give something of value.

I know what I want,and what success is for me. But I don't expect my neighbor at my local conference to share that definition.

These great people cited are ideals and NOT the norm. They are gifted, talented, hard workers who establish themselves with luck, hard work, and encouragement of great teams of editors, agents, librarians, book buyers ADs etc...And like the great artists, they strive to get BETTER and BETTER. To me they value quality.

And then we get into what quality is. Another post perhaps.

Now there are MANY garbage products making lots of money and those creators feel successful. That is how they think.

Anyway, I love your blog...and I am not disagreeing just seeing the OTHER side(s).

Thanks for listenting! SMILE.

Editorial Anonymous said...

Well commented.

I particularly liked the part about approaching each piece of advice as though it was directed at you.

I certainly try to take every complaint about editors generally to heart, and to think hard about whether I'm at all guilty, and what I can do to be better. :)

Sara O'Leary said...

Thanks for this link - it's a good article to bring in for discussion. Particularly as I'm always trying to persuade my students to say it with fewer words. My favourite model is Where the Wild Things Are at 388 words.

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