The Wolf of Sesame Street
April 29, 2014 5:56 PM   Subscribe

I'm curious about the business of children's literature. I'm looking for any books/articles/personal anecdotes that discuss it from the cutthroat capitalism angle; such as how monopolies may affect the content published, or perhaps particular authors known for their ruthlessness.
posted by gorbweaver to Writing & Language (5 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
NPR did this interview (I think) with a children's-book author, which went into the business/capitalism side of why the industry didn't really publish kids books about non-white kids. The link doesn't seem to contain the whole interview, so I'm not sure if it's the interview I heard, but NPR has covered this.
posted by anonymisc at 6:03 PM on April 29, 2014

I haven't read this (I can't believe I haven't!) but the only book I know of that covers children's literature with a focus on the business/publishing/editorial side is Minders of Make-Believe by Leonard Marcus. I've heard great things about it.
posted by Jeanne at 6:49 PM on April 29, 2014

Most fabulous and least appreciated children's author Daniel Pinkwater frequently comments on publisher-related issues on his forum in response to questions about sequels/reprints of his books. Here are three recent examples, but it comes up pretty frequently.
posted by goodbyewaffles at 7:10 PM on April 29, 2014

I'd also look at James Frey's efforts to create a sort of book-writing syndicate with Full Fathom Five; and the Oct. 19, 2009 New Yorker has a good article by Rebecca Mead on Alloy Books, the packager behind the Gossip Girl series, which sort of exemplifies the write-to-the-least-common-denominator aspect.
posted by Jeanne at 7:11 PM on April 29, 2014

I agree with Jeanne that the topic to research is packagers. See also lauren Oliver and Paper Lantern Lit. Historical syndicates like those behind Nancy Drew and the hardy boys and fake authors like Watty Piper are also worth researching.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:47 AM on April 30, 2014

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