My conversation with Jennifer Brown, Children's Editor, Shelf Awareness

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Not long ago, I wrote a piece for Shelf Awareness, that fantastic e-newsletter for the publishing trade, about the future of young adult books—underscoring trends, suggesting new possibilities.  Publishing the essay was, of course, a privilege.  But the greater privilege was all that went on behind the scenes, as I worked with Jennifer Brown, the SA children's editor.  It wasn't just a back-and-forth about a story's shape and timing.  It was a conversation—wide-ranging, funny, thoughtful, perpetually kind.  I frankly couldn't get enough of Jenny, and when I asked Ed Nawotka of Publishing Perspectives if I might interview her for a profile, he said (thank you, Ed) yes.

Here, then, is Jennifer Brown—editor, reviewer, advocate, enthusiast—whose impact on children's books is the stuff of which legacies are made.  She could, I've often thought, write the definitive book on the history of books written for the young.  For now, though, she's focused on brightening the future.

A brief side note.  Yesterday, Laura Geringer, who asked me to write for teens in the first place and edited five of my YA titles, mentioned in a note that an animated short with which she had been involved had been nominated for an Oscar.  The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (which is glorious, and can be watched here) is dedicated to Bill Morris, a man who mentored Jenny for many years.  Paths cross and tangle in publishing.  I am grateful to be knotted in.

My previous Publishing Perspectives stories can be found here: Changing the future of e-books....

The Value Rubric:  Do Book Bloggers Really Matter?

The Attraction-Repulsion of International Literature: My conversation with Alane Salierno Mason

Transforming Children's Book Coverage at the New York Times: My conversation with Pamela Paul

Success is when the world returns your faithMy conversation with editor Lauren Wein

Between Shades of Gray:  The Making of an International Bestseller  


Serena said...

I just read this conversation...Wonderful advocate for Children's books. Thanks for sharing this and I love the short animated piece "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore"

Melissa Sarno said...

I really enjoyed that profile. She has such valuable insight- that's really exciting. And I can't believe you referenced the flying books animation (though I guess it's not that surprising) because I spent most of yesterday afternoon fooling around with the enhanced e-book based on that film. You should check it out on your i-pad.

Lilian Nattel said...

I absolutely love that video. I'm glad to know more about it.

Michael G-G said...

I call it "my beloved Shelf Awareness." So many of my blog posts originate there. And thank you, now, for introducing me to Jennifer's blog.

The interwebs are a whole bright world, waiting to be explored.

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