Miss Snark is the Picture of Perplexity

Dear Miss Snark,

My picture book came out two years ago. It got good reviews and won two awards. Sales were pretty good, but not sky-high. I'd like it to come out as a paperback or board book, but I don't know what steps to take to make that happen. My agent says to take it up with my editor; my editor says, "well, maybe..." Is there anything I can do, or is this my publisher's decision?

Thank you.

Your agent said for YOU to take this up with your editor?

Unless there's something vastly different about picture book deals than EVERY other kind of book deal, this is your agent's job. If she's not willing to do it, you need a new agent.

Look at your contract. See what rights the publisher bought. It's not a given that they bought hard/soft/board as a bundle. Probable, but not always. If they own the rights, there's not much you can do if they don't budge. That's why your agent should be doing this.


Mac said...

Good lord. Miss Snark blogging all day Sunday, too.

We aren't worthy.

Grateful, though. We are grateful.

Jen said...

I'm in childrens, specifically children's paperbacks, and while the deal for a picture book isn't actually different than every other book, the idea that you'll want your picture book in either a board book or paperback is a little different.

Picture books tend to get lost in paper, they're impossible to shelve well. And also, picture books, esp paperback picture books are in the middle of a big downswing right now. In fact, if your book is still selling well in hardcover, you DON'T WANT your book in paper--your overall sales and royalties will probably tank.

Some of the most popular and fabulous picture books aren't in any format other than hardcover. Because they sell and sell and sell in hardcover. Generally you won't want to see your book even be talked about becoming a board book until at least two years, generally 3, after original publication.