Sunday, June 13, 2010

Behind The Scenes of a Publishing Company

There's a big red wall at Candlewick Publishing Company.

They have an office dog.

There is a tray on Kaylan Adair's desk. . . the top tray has very urgent papers, the middle tray has urgent papers and the bottom tray has somewhat urgent papers.

And then there is the SLUSH Pile. . . Ms. Adair's definition of a SLUSH Pile is - Things That Are Not Solicited. Sorry, they do not currently accept unsolicited manuscripts.

On Tuesdays they have Production Meetings.

On Thursdays they have Picture Book Meetings.

On Thursday mornings they have a Cover's Meeting.

When searching for an illustrator for a picture book, they narrow it down to three choices, then they show their choices to the author.

Sketches arrive.

Final Art arrives and they spread them out on a table. Everyone gathers to look at them. They are scanned and put into layouts.

Kaylan has worked on more than 100 titles.
She looks for well written stories with interesting characters, strong unique voice and lots of heart.

She says for a Picture Book it takes 2-3 yrs from signing the contract with the author until the book hits the shelf.
For a Novel it takes 18months to 2 years. It all depends on how smoothly everything goes.

I attended her workshops at our writer's conference over the weekend. Those attending have until Sept. 13, 2010 to send a manuscript to her.

Now, all I have to do is decide what to send her, write it really, really good and then keep my finger's crossed.


  1. thanks for posting this. interesting. good luck to you - get that ms out!

    what else did you learn at the conference?

  2. Interesting that they show three illo possibilities to the author. I'm guessing the author gets some input and a chance to correct errors, but not final say?

  3. Janet,
    I looked for your name first of all among the winners. I was disappointed that you didn't win. And I was pleased of course to see my name because I honestly did not expect it.
    I know the current story I'm working on is worthy of my time but finding time right now is hard to do.
    I know your work is worthy or you would not be getting published. I'm proud of you, girl.
    Keep writing. Barb

  4. I saw a presentation on Candlewick at the SCBWI regional event in Richmond a couple of years ago. I'll never forget the slide show and the picture of their slush pile holding room - very enlightening!


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