The Andrea Brown Literary Agency is one the most recognized and respected in the industry. It really was a privilege to meet the founder and glean her wisdom. As all the Fireside Chat speakers, Andrea spoke once in the AM and once in the PM. Her first talk was entitled, “Demystifying the Children’s Book Industry.”
Here’s a snapshot of Andrea’s talk:
- Write to your audience.
- You have to BE a child, not just think like one.
- Humor is necessary in every category/genre.
- There’s always a market for bedtime picture books.
- Focus on the universals of a child’s life.
- People read GOOD stories. Write one of them.
- “If you have writer’s block, it just means you’re not writing what you should be.”
- Editors keep saying they want boy-centric books…and then don’t buy them.
- For YA: don’t follow trends, write what you love.
Andrea’s second talk was “Fundamentals of Adult/Children’s Fiction and Landing an Agent.” She hit us first with her 5 P’s of Publishing: Passion (write every day!), Product (you’ve got one shot with an agent, make it count with your best submission), Patience, Persistence and Promotion.
Andrea followed that with her 7 Fundamentals. She noted that a writer shouldn’t submit unless they could check off each one of these:
- Memorable characters
She posed an interesting question: how many of us would spend $25 to purchase our own book. Andrea also advised critique groups and workshop-style settings as being essential to success.