The Angst of Editorial Meetings

img_75901-copyA lot of people ask about the “insider story” of publishing.

Well, sit in on a real, live Editorial Meeting.  Sound boring?  Sometimes!  In this picture, we are having a real, live Gallopade editorial meeting…for 2017, meaning SEPTEMBER back-to-school…sooooo…

What will kids, teachers, parents, readers, librarians, bookstores, etc. want and need by September “a year from now”?  Well, that’s where the angst comes in!  Part of my job is to anticipate such wants/needs/desires/essentialities—way ahead.  Far enough ahead to assign, research, write, design, illustrate, and paste up and print books in time for back to school, or even summer tourist season, or early year needs.

As you can imagine, this is not easy.  How do we do it?  We listen.  We monitor the local, states, world and international news of all kinds—educational, economic, political, cultural, and more.  As you know, that is not always pretty.  What does it mean?  How does it affect children?  What will teachers want and need?  What will state standards add, change, eliminate?

While it’s sort of a coin, toss, we have one Secret Ingredient to help us stay on the right path: IT’S ALL ABOUT THE KIDS!  We seek to be relevant to them.  We aim to be true to their young minds and questioning brains.  Our goal is to be moral, add value, not to be politically correct.  We want to tell them the facts, the truth as we know it, and let them draw their own conclusions.  And, as if that were not challenge enough, we also are determined to be enlightening, entertaining, and just plain fun.

Difficult?  Yes.  Impossible?  Must not be—we’ve been doing it for 37 years.  We may have a little more gray hair, may even argue, may suffer (I always say, “If you are not suffering, you are not writing anything worth reading.”)  And so, here we go again.  We do good things for kids.  We change kids’ lives.  We save kids’ lives.  But, more importantly, I like to think we help make the world go around just a little bit better each year.  If we help one child, that’s wonderful.

And some people think publishers are just trying to make a living.  Yes, but that is secondary.

See you in 2017 with some great Gallopade/Carole Marsh books, coming sooner or later to a calendar near you!

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