Let’s get to know Andrea Welch, Senior editor at Beach Lane Books, a San Diego- based imprint of Simon & Schuster. I met her at the Spring SCBWI WWA conference. Her list includes both authors and illustrators in all genres of kid lit.
What makes Andrea take notice of a manuscript? Andrea told us that she likes a manuscript that excites her, that makes her stop immediately, and begin reading it out loud.
Andrea was asked how her company is able to keep picture books alive in this changing economy. She told us that Beach Lane Books was careful to make sure the PB they bought would be around for a long while. They have kept the rights to a lot of their back list and are able to do lots of reprints.
And what about digital PB? Andrea is surprised that they haven’t taken off yet. However, she does say that the feeling of a hardbound PB in your hand can’t be duplicated. There is nothing like turning the pages to find a new picture. Right now she feels that parents are mostly using digital PB when they are in a pinch, like when traveling.
What are Andrea’s favorite books from childhood? Well, she loved Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel, and Black Beauty will always hold a special place in her heart because she read it along with her mom. Among current books out she thinks the PB’s on the Caldecott list are amazing, especially Me... Jane by Patrick McDonell and Blackout by John Rocco.
What is Andrea looking for? She mostly acquires picture books, however, she is also looking for the next great horse book.
Currently Beach Lane Books does not accept unsolicited manuscripts and their policy requires that they consider only submissions that come to a specific editor from a literary agent. But, they often have a modified submissions policy for members of conferences they attend. If you’d like to know more check out their website at http://kids.simonandschuster.com/ .