There was a buzz in the air as I walked through the doors of the State Library of Victoria and into a foyer full of people in the book industry. After months of waiting, the day had finally arrived.
I believe the world of a writer is not just about sitting behind a desk, its about networking, meeting and greeting others in your field and understanding your brand. It is about sharing your knowledge and keeping the world of storytelling alive.
As the clock struck 9:30am we all gathered in the theatrette. KidLitVic – Meet the Publishers Day was about to begin. The opening speaker discussed the importance of books and keeping stories alive.
Throughout the day, there were various panels about Chapter and Middle Grade books, an illustration panel, picture book panel and young adult panel. There were also some seminars ‘It’s All About Your Brand’, presenting in schools, self-editing and an illustration seminar.
I was lucky to attend ‘It’s All About Your Brand,’ that was presented by Lisa Berryman, children’s publisher at Harper Collins. This was an extremely valuable session. It allowed me to seriously think about my writing and what I stand.
I’m currently writing young adult books but I enjoyed listening to the picture book panel. I aspire to have a picture book published some day as I have been a primary teacher. Sometimes it can get a bit disheartening when you hear that a publisher may only publish three picture books in one year or even if an author is offered a contract, the process can take from eighteen months to two years to see the final product. But we all know in creative professions, it takes time and you do what you love and love what you do.
The young adult panel of publishers discussed taboo issues related to Y.A. stories. A point was put across about who reads Y.A.? Yes, it’s supposed to be readers starting from thirteen to eighteen but research has shown that readers as young as nine and many adults, particularly ones in late twenties and well into their thirties are reading these books. It was interesting to hear how much had changed in one year in regards to the trends and what could limit sales from when I attended KidLitVic last year. The day ended with a closing panel, allowing questions to the publishers.
It is events like these that bring together the Australian publishing industry and as an author I’m grateful to the people who arrange and make these dreams happen. Times are changing and the world of a writer is no longer just behind the desk, it encompasses so much more. Wishing everyone the best on their journeys. There is no right way and everyone’s path will be different.