Friday, February 18, 2011

Michelle Bayuk answers your questions!

Today I have a treat for you - Michelle Bayuk (Director of Marketing for Albert Whitman & Company) has agreed to answer questions from any of you. She is NOT an editor but she can answer questions related to publishing and specifically marketing in this crazy world of children's books. Albert Whitman has been very good to me over the years and I am now working on my sixth book with them. They have quite a track record from their early beginnings in 1919 they've seen their fair share of successes including the very popular "Box Car Children" series (which my mom read to me as a child).

Before coming to A.W. she served as the Marketing Director for the Children's Book Council as well as marketing and publicity positions at several other children’s book publishers, including Millbrook Press and Scholastic.

She's very qualified and very gracious to agree to answer questions you may have. So you can leave a question in the comments and in a few days I'll post her responses in another post.

I'll start by asking the first question: Michelle, what kind of mistakes do you see beginning illustrators or for that matter professional illustrators make as far as the business side of their careers?...and don't use my name :)


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  2. Thanks Will for the opportunity!

    Michelle, with so many social arenas open for self promotion, what are the best ways for an artist to promote and sell their own brand and identity? Are things like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and DeviantArt preaching to the choir? Or are there other means of promotion that artists don't use as effectively as they could or should?

    Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions!


  3. Hey Will, thanks for having Michelle on... and thank you so much Michelle for taking the time to answer questions.
    Michelle, from the illustration side of children’s books, what would be the single most marketable aspect of an illustrator’s portfolio. I know that character design, style, color and quality all work together, but is there ONE thing that floats to the top? Also, I do not have an agent..... should I be considering one?

  4. Thank you, Michelle and Will for doing this!

    MIchelle, I wondered if you could tell us a couple of characteristics of your dream picturebook from a marketing perspective. Or, maybe what types of books are in demand from a marketing point of view. Or, which are the easist to market. For example, holiday books, humorous books, etc. Sorry if that is three questions in one. Whatever is easiest to answer would be a great help!

  5. Thanks for this opportunity, Will! This is timely since I just sent off a post card yesterday to Albert Whitman...well, actually it was the second time since I didn't realize Albert Whitman had moved to a new location and it came back in the mail. Oops! But anyway, I am an illustrator and I usually send post cards quarterly to clients I have worked with or would like to work with. I have been told to send post cards to either editors or art directors so I sent mine to Abby Levine. Does the editorial staff or the art director choose the illustrator for a project or is it more of a collaboration?


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