Readersforum's Blog

December 3, 2012

Teen Lit Publishing Experts Reveal Recipes for Bestsellers

By Shelley Diaz

What are the ingredients that make up a YA bestseller? A panel of seasoned publishing professionals addressed this question and many more at the Women’s National Book Association NYC chapter’s event “The Making of a Young Adult Bestseller-From Acquisition to Reader,” November 14. It was moderated by New York Public Library’s youth materials specialist and Fuse #8 blogger Betsy Bird, at Manhattan’s Wix Lounge, a free work and event space for creative professionals.

Over the course of two hours a group of industry hopefuls—aspiring writers, editors, and agents—heard insider tips, advice, anecdotes, and encouragement from representatives involved in each of the major stages of children’s publishing. Speakers included Jenny Bent, founder and literary agent at the Bent Agency; Susan Katz, president and publisher at HarperCollins Children’s; Hannah Moskowitz, author of several books for teen and middle-grade audiences; Joy Peskin, editorial director at Farrar Straus Giroux for Young Readers; and Marisa Russell, publicity manager at Penguin Young Readers.

The panelists agreed that while there is no magic formula for acquiring and finding “the next big thing,” chart-topping hits usually have a few key elements in common.

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