Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Let's Meet Sourcebooks Editor Bunmi Ishola

Welcome to Inside the Publishing World Wednesday! This past weekend I attended the PNWA conference here in Seattle and I have some great info to share. To start, I'm spotlighting Sourcebooks Editor, Bunmi Ishola.

Who is Bunmi?
"Raised in Texas and Nigeria, Bunmi Ishola spent most of her childhood reading. She thought she wanted to be an author, but Nigerian practicality forced her to pursue journalism instead (which still wasn't practical enough for most of the Nigerian adults in her life). She studied English and journalism at Texas A&M University and later got a master’s in journalism from Northwestern University. After working for World Literature Today, The Norman Transcript, The Dallas Morning News, and CURE magazine, Bunmi left journalism to teach middle school social studies and English. After seven years in the classroom, she decided to go back to take a chance and find a job working with her biggest passion: books. She is now part of the children’s editorial team at Sourcebooks. She also serves as a board member and the Editor-Writer Mentorship Chair for The Word, a Story Telling Sanctuary."

What is she looking for?
Graphic Novels, Historical (General), Mainstream, Women’s Fiction, Children’s Picture Book, Children’s Chapter Book, Children’s Middle Grade, YA Graphic Novels, YA Historical (General), YA Literary, YA Mainstream, YA Romance, YA Essay & Articles, YA Book Length Projects (All Types), YA Memoir, and more Indigenous stories.

More specifically- In MG she would like mystery, adventure, Stem, Fantasy, and Survival. In fact, she told us she loves science and Stem books with fun ideas. She wants to introduce kids to big ideas and new experiences.

 In YA, she would like to see more Romcom. She is just starting to look into graphic novels.

What she doesn't want-
Short Fiction
Adult Fantasy

How does an agent decide between a book being MG or YA? 

Character age has a lot to do with it: ages 14 + are YA. Also, she asks herself what is the strongest hook for what age group? Marketing will be better for the group that would like it more. Don't worry if it is upper or lower middle grade, the agent will decide that.

What does she look for in a query?
The Hook.
She asks herself why would a kid or teacher want to buy your book?
Things need to be interesting and come from a new angle.
If you send in a synopsis please include the ending, especially for picture books.

Where can you find her?
On Twitter- @bunmi_ishola
Her Blog-

Sourcebooks has many imprints and I was not given any direct info about submissions to Bunmi. However, here is where you can find their submissions guidelines for their different imprints.

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