A Shout-Out to Orphaned Authors

This blog is for all you authors out thereand there are far too many of youwho have lost your editors or who have had your books orphaned. I’ve been thinking a lot about you as I’ve settled into my new job as editorial director of Carolrhoda Books and Carolrhoda Lab, Lerner Publishing Group’s trade fiction imprints.

I was hired during a tumultuous time. Carolrhoda’s previous editorial director had left in January, leaving many Carolrhoda authors wondering what was going to happen with their manuscripts. At the same time, Lerner had just acquired Egmont’s backlist, leaving dozens of authors with half-signed contracts wondering how they would fit into the Lerner Publishing Group.
As I began letting my new authors know they once again had a champion in house and someone who would nurture both them and their books, I kept imagining how you were feelingnot just my authors but all of you whose books were or are still in limbo. You must have so many anxious questions swirling around. Who is your new editor going to be and what if you don’t “click” with him or her? Are you really still wanted or are you just a leftover? What will it feel like to get that first phone call or email from an editor who previously existed only on a publisher’s blog or a LinkedIn profile?
Publishing is a mercurial business, and imprints open and close and editors move to new houses all the time, leaving authors bereft in many different ways. And while you find yourselves in this situation through no fault on your own, you are powerless to do anything about it other than to wait and see what will happen.
So to all of you I just want to sayhang in there. Lean on your agent. Keep writing. Trust in your talent. YOU are what make OUR jobs worth doing. Your incredible abilities to write amazing books that challenge children and teens to think in new ways inspire editors like me on a daily basis. You will survive and you will thrive.
Elana K. Arnold at ALA with Infandous
(worked with previous Lab editor)

And for my own authors who’ve recently inherited me, know that I already consider you to be my authors. I empathize with the tumult you’ve gone through, and I also know you have many great books ahead of you. I’m excited about the new journey we’ll be going on together!
Sarah McGuire at ALA with Valiant
(previously with Egmont)

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