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Sterling Publishing Co. / Lark Books / Hearst

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

Andrew Jameson

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This is a little odd, but a question: anyone know anything about Lark Books? Their Web site is right here: http://www.larkbooks.com/home/home.asp

I've done a little research, and so far as I can tell, they're completely on the up-and-up. A fine arts/crafts publisher, long track record, now owned by B&N (I think), multiple books, a few of which I peeked at on Amazon (picked not-so-randomly), those having decent reviews and rankings, etc.

So why the question? Well, my wife's an artist, and she was recently approached, out of the blue, by an editor at Lark and asked to submit slides for use in one of their future books. My first impression is that this is probably a great opportunity for her, but I wanted a quick sanity check from y'all.
 

Aconite

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Andrew, the part that raises caution flags for me is that your wife was approached out of the blue by the editor. That's worrisome.
 

CaoPaux

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I think that particular caution would depend on how visible the wife is as an artist. If she's professional/publicly reknown, then it wouldn't be out of realm of possibility for her to be approached cold for a project.
 

Aconite

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CaoPaux said:
I think that particular caution would depend on how visible the wife is as an artist. If she's professional/publicly reknown, then it wouldn't be out of realm of possibility for her to be approached cold for a project.
*smacks forehead* Right. We could be using the term differently. I assumed "out of the blue" ruled out "well known artist." My bad.
 

Andrew Jameson

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Right; exactly. The out-of-the-blueness is the only red flag that I can see so far.

My wife isn't that well-known, but she does have a small but noticeable Web presence, as well as some gallery connections, so it's not unreasonable that someone looking for her type of art would stumble across a reference to her. I should add that the contact email discussed some of her work particularly as well as the content of the proposed book, so it's certainly not a mass email or anything.

At the very least I'll be sure to have her ask how the editor got her name.
 

CaoPaux

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Andrew Jameson said:
At the very least I'll be sure to have her ask how the editor got her name.
"Well, I was at this post-launch reception talking up a new project to this photographer, and he said 'huh, my sister was just talking about a web page like that' and so he had her text me the URL, and...." ;)
 

ExposingCorruption

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Sterling Publishing

Sterling Publishing "is a wholly owned subsidiary of Barnes & Noble." http://www.sterlingpublishing.com/sterling/about-us

Does this mean that if Sterling Publishes your book, it will only be available at Barnes & Noble and not at other book stores?

Does anyone have any insight on the Sterling Publishing / Barnes & Noble story?

Would it be good to have your book published by them?
 
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JerseyGirl1962

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Sterling Publishing "is a wholly owned subsidiary of Barnes & Noble." http://www.sterlingpublishing.com/sterling/about-us

Does this mean that if Sterling Publishes your book, it will only be available at Barnes & Noble and not at other book stores?

Does anyone have any insight on be available the Sterling Publishing / Barnes & Noble story?

Would it be good to have your book published by them?

Well, it looks like they gear their site toward readers, which is a good sign. Plus, they do have a sales team (and ask booksellers to contact the sales team, not individual authors).

Digging into the site a bit more - it looks like books are not just available at Barnes and Noble (at least, not online; although they state they're available at bookstores everywhere). This info is found here.

Would it be good to have your specific book published by them? That's something only YOU can answer. As they'll be available in many different bookstores (brick and mortar and online), if there are any stores near you, why don't you see if you can find something that's similar to your book, go to the store, and see if it's something you'd pick up (an interesting cover, good writing, minimal amount or not typos, that sort of thing).

Good luck!

~Nancy
 

IceCreamEmpress

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I didn't know they had expanded from the do-it-yourself market (books about knitting, wine, cooking, etc.) into general non-fiction. But it looks like they're making a reasonably high-stakes push to do so--I noticed Sidney Blumenthal and Murray Wass among the current authors.

So on the one hand, you'd have the advantage of being one of a few titles in a new area of interest for the house; on the other hand, you'd have the disadvantage of the "Don't they publish books about knitting?" factor.
 

nash

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Barnes & Noble Inc. has put its Sterling Publishing business up for sale, say people familiar with the situation, signaling a likely end to its decades-long involvement in the publishing of its own books.
The book retailer has been in publishing since the 1970s and expanded the effort in 2003, when it acquired Sterling for about $115 million.

After reading the whole article, I think this could be a good thing for Sterling, depending on who the (eventual) buyer is. Fingers crossed for them. This is a quality established publisher, who, in addition to their non-fiction, recently started publishing YA fiction, including the New Yok Time's Bestselling Tiger's Curse series.
 

Debbie V

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Any updates on this? I've had a couple of requested picture book manuscripts out with an editor for almost nine months. I'm getting ready to send a status query as nine months is a little long even in children's. Her colleague, whom she suggested I contact for another project, got back to me in a much shorter time with a lovely rejection including suggestions of other places to submit. I wonder if the possible sale has anything to do with the delay. Thanks for any info.
 

nash

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Any updates on this? I've had a couple of requested picture book manuscripts out with an editor for almost nine months. I'm getting ready to send a status query as nine months is a little long even in children's. Her colleague, whom she suggested I contact for another project, got back to me in a much shorter time with a lovely rejection including suggestions of other places to submit. I wonder if the possible sale has anything to do with the delay. Thanks for any info.

I'm not sure what's up with the sale, but there have been some recent editorial moves there. I saw this from The Purple Crayon Who's Moving Where page:

"May 2012:
Bloomsbury Children's: Cindy Loh becomes their new publishing director. She leaves Sterling, B&N's in-house imprint--their second high-level departure this month (see below). She said the following in a letter to authors: 'After spending the fastest (and craziest!) two years ever launching YA and middle-grade lists for Sterling, I am happy/sad to report that I am leaving my post to become publishing director of Bloomsbury Children's USA. I will be heading up their NY office (on the kids side), responsible for both the Bloomsbury and Walker lists, which as you probably know are a mix of original publishing, co-editions from our UK arm, and co-edition acquisitions. In other words, I'm still buying!'"

And...

"Sterling: Frances Gilbert, the children's book publisher at Barnes and Noble's in-house publishing company, has left to become editorial director of Doubleday at Random House."

Best wishes on your pb mss. I hope you hear good news soon. I'm waiting on a response to requested material too, so am watching for new developments with great interest.
 

Debbie V

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Thanks, Nash. At least my editor is still there. All of the changes may be slowing the process a lot. Still, I think, nine months is long enough for a status query.

Good luck to you too.
 

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