Just a few weeks ago Andrew Karre moved from his position as acquisitions editor at YA-only Flux to assume the role of editorial director at Lerner Imprint Carolrhoda Books. Here Andrew talks a bit about his transition and his new job and offers advice to authors whose editors relocate.
Why the move from Flux to Carolrhoda? How is your new position different from your old one?
First off, it was not an easy decision. Working for Flux has been a joy and an adventure at nearly every turn. I am enormously proud of those books. Flux has some limitations for a children’s book editor, though, namely in the focus on YA fiction. I adore YA novels, but I honestly could not see myself acquiring them exclusively for the next decade. It just seemed unbalanced. My hope was that one day we’d be able to grow and branch out to the full spectrum of children’s literature, but when the opportunity came to step into a directorial role at an imprint that already had what I wanted (and that was part of an established children’s publisher a few miles from my home) . . . well, it was not an opportunity I could pass up.
Was it tough to leave Flux and particularly your Flux authors?
Agonizing. Absolutely horrible. There’s never a good time to leave a list in progress. The day before I gave my notice, we got that awesome notice on PW’s ShelfTalker blog. I knew there would be books that I was dying to edit that I would not be able to. There were books that were about to come out that I was convinced would be thrillingly successful. And of course it is such an amazing group of authors. They made almost every day interesting.
What's your advice to authors whose editors relocate?
In general, I would say this is where you really want your agent to be watching out for you. If you don’t have an agent, I would firmly but politely make sure I got as much information about The Plan of Succession, assuming there is one, as possible. At a minimum, get some other phone numbers and email addresses of other people in the house who might be able to answer questions. It isn’t necessarily a cause for panic, though. I have now happily inherited lovely lists of books twice in my career. I re-signed and had ongoing, productive relationships with several authors that Megan Atwood left me at Flux and I expect to have the same here at Carolrhoda.
In Flux’s particular case, my only concern is that authors will like Brian better than they liked me. Once they finally hired Brian Farrey to take the spot, I ceased to be concerned. The authors at Flux are in good hands.
What can you tell us about the Carolrhoda line? What types of books do you publish? Will you be making any changes as editorial director?
Carolrhoda is one of Lerner’s trade imprints. We do a couple dozen books a year and they range from picture books to YA, fiction and nonfiction. The emphasis is on books of extremely high quality that have a general trade audience. Recent successes include Sally Walker’s Sibert-award-winning Secrets of a Civil War Submarine and Almost to Freedom by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and illustrated by Colin Bootman, which won a CSK Illustrator honor. Carolrhoda has won awards and starred reviews at every level of children’s publishing.
Carolrhoda has a long tradition and I won’t make changes lightly, but I do have my own style and my own ideas (especially about YA) and those won’t go away. I like being online and part of the broader conversations about books, so that will inevitably be part of what I do here.
Are you open to submissions from authors? What are you looking for?
Lerner does not consider unsolicited submissions. From time to time, we’ll make specific requests for certain kinds of books.
You blogged while at Flux. Is there a Carolrhoda blog?
At the moment, I’m blogging here. Any news relating to me and Carolrhoda will be there until we get a Carolrhoda blog going.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008