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In my recent survey, I asked those of you working with agents to answer a few questions about how you got your agent. First off, thank you SO MUCH to those who took the time to respond in order to help others in the community. These include: Hayley Chewins, Julie Glover, Kellie DuBay Gillis, Michael Wayne, Anne Marie Pace, Kristin Gray, Denise Gallagher, Corey Schwartz, Beth Ferry, Julie Dao, Stephanie Diaz, Russ Cox, Sarah Albee, Stephanie Fletcher-Stephens, Ashlyn Anstee, Melissa Caruso, Julie Falatko, Bruce Hale, Mike Jung, Heidi Schulz, Amy Lozier, Josh Funk, Jim Averbeck, Edward Willett, Kelley McMorris, Annie Cardi, Carter Higgins, Susan VanHecke, Jennifer Gray Olson, Andria W. Rosenbaum and Juana Martinez-Neal. Others responded anonymously.
74 people responded and almost all were children's/YA book writers or illustrators. Most got their agent through an email query.
Here's a further summary and breakdown of the results as of today (August 14, 2015).
As you can tell from the above, most of the respondents' represented work focuses on children's/YA writing. About 25% had agents representing their children's book illustration work.
Approx. 70% of respondents said they were working with their first agent. The others had worked with other agents before.
Here are some of additional comments about useful resources while researching agents:
"Online searches about what agents said and represented, conversations with authors already in the publishing business." - Julie Glover
"The SCBWI blueboard! Also, agent's blogs and agency websites." - Kellie DuBay Gillis
"Author friends - individual agent google searches which often bring up a variety of insightful blog interviews - agency websites." - Michael Wayne
"Probably most helpful was just googling agents to find interviews and other information, especially agency websites. Facebook was helpful mostly because of a private Facebook group of PitchWars '14 mentees that I belong to--networking with other writers is a big help. I also used QueryTracker. The AbsoluteWrite forums are usesful too."
"When I signed with my agent in early 2007, Facebook was just catching on and I don't think anyone had Twitter yet--okay, I checked Wikipedia--it was very small at that time! The Children's Writers and Illustrators Market was only in hardcover, not online! Much has changed, very quickly!" - Anne Marie Pace
"Recommendations from other agented writers, and recommendations from my former agent."
"12 x 12 picture book challenge submission."
"Also Querytracker." - Kristin Gray
"Pitch Madness on Twitter!" - Denise Gallagher
"I also learned about a lot of agents and agencies through other writers and through contests. (This is mostly where Twitter comes in... as a vehicle for word of mouth.) I used Publisher's Marketplace and AgentQuery more as a secondary reference to look up more info on agents, rather than a place to find them in the first place." - Melissa Caruso
"Querytracker.com, pred-ed.com." - Russ Cox
"General online research, agent interviews, etc."
"One of her clients gave me a referral." - Corey Schwartz
"Google. And, of course, the official agency websites are huge sources of information."
"Blog post loutreleaven showing a list of literary agents."
Additional comments about how they met their agent:
"We had never met face to face, but she contracted me after seeing my work in the Portfolio Showcase. Then we met (face to face) a few weeks later. A month or so after that, I signed with her agency. We have seen each other a few times since I signed, but mainly we communicate via email (and occasionally phone)."
"We met through the #PitMad Twitter pitch contest where she requested my work!" - Julie Dao
"I heard her speak at an SCBWI Editor's Day. The following year, I had her critique one of my manuscripts for SCBWI Agent's Day, and was signed soon after." - Stephanie Fletcher-Stephens
"Online via Verla Kay's Blueboards and my blog. Joan contacted me to request pages." - Mike Jung
"It was a case of right match, right time. I liked what he said in his talk, took advantage of his offer to submit stories, and found that he really liked one of my pieces -- enough to represent me." - @storyguy1
"I was referred by another agent."
"I queried her by email before an SCBWI event that I was volunteering at and she was speaking at." - Jennifer Gray Olson
"Personal reference from one of her existing clients." - Josh Funk
"Answered request from Manuscript Wish List (#MSWL)."
"They noticed me because I won the SCBWI Student Illustrator Scholarship." - Kelley McMorris
"Through my MFA program (VCFA)- she was a fellow student at the time." - Amy
"I met my agent through a #PitMad twitter pitch event."
"I had planned to query her based on research I'd done, but she invited me to submit my query letter, synopsis, and first 3 chapters from a Twitter pitch."
Again, THANK YOU SO MUCH for those who took the time to respond!
If you have comments or suggestions, including your own experience with researching and finding an agent, I encourage you to post below.
You’ve had them. Those dreams of days that exist solely in your mind’s eye. You imagine how you’ll feel, what you’ll say orÂ do as soon asÂ the thing you’ve longed for a long time flips from fantasy to reality.
Then, that magical day arrives, and in a blink, you realize your mind’s eye was playing tricks on you.
It was like that for me earlier this month when my dream agent Erin Murphy offered to represent me. I was near tears, but thenÂ a surreal calm covered me. Not at all what I expected.Â Â I always assumed I’dÂ hang up the phone and do a squeal/jump/cry combo. (Just picture it!) But I didn’t. I sat alone in my office in stunned silence.Â Â I’ve heard from friends who’ve had a similar experience.
Why? Well, I’ve pondered on that.
My best guess is that when your brain has been standing guard over your dream-holding heart for many years, it takes a bit before it can stand down and let your heart be happy. Your mind cares so much about your safety, it goes deaf to the cries of your heart that’s saying, “This is great news! Let’s celebrate!”
Photo by Vicky Lorencen
Thankfully, it only took about 24 hours before my mind unlocked my heart and I was free to be both grateful and giddy (yes, I even skipped down the hall with happiness).
Now, I know there’s still lots of work ahead, no guarantees and more opportunities for rejection, trail and error, and failure. MyÂ mind will still be busy watching over my heart, but for now, I’m delighted to enjoy this milestone.
Let me encourage you to celebrate your milestones too–sending out a submission you’ve spent many months (maybe years) preparing, making the shift from beer toÂ champagne rejections (that is a big deal!), selling an article to a magazine you admire, getting that beloved book contract or whatever achievement makes your heart smile and your dear, overworked mind nod in agreement.
Remember to celebrate milestones as you prepare for the road ahead. ~Â Nelson Mandela
I decided to pursue publishing after a trying my hand at a couple different career paths after college.Â Like most 21-year-olds, I didnât really know what I wanted to do with my life, and I was learning the hard way that the best jobs donât come easy. At the end of every day I would drive home from whatever job (teacherâs aide, exec asst for generic company, waitressing, movie theater, B&N) to my apartment (basement of some elderly womanâs home) and turned on the radio (I didnât have cable or internet). I would cook some mac nâ cheese (store brand) and jump on my computer to retweak my resume and personalize cover letters to mail the next day (printed on fancy resume paperâthe most expensive thing I likely owned at the time aside from my cell phone). Â Then when the pot and plate were cleaned (no dishwasher), I would pull one of the dozens of books I owned from my shelves, plop down on my futon, and read.Â My boyfriend (now husband) was in law school (so he was always deep in the bowels of the law library), and though I had friends, I was tight on funds (Taco Bell and hanging in the park, anyone?).Â So a lot of the time it was just me and books. And I knew I would find my path soon enough. I was happy.
Fast forward to Dec 16, 2011. Iâve now found my path (already 5 years into publishing) and Iâm at a publishing party.Â Like all publishing parties, I know some people and I donât know many others, but Iâm always comforted by the fact that we all have one thing in common: a love of books and reading. Â So talking to a new person at these kinds of things is easy enough for meâusually I start with something Iâve read recently that I enjoyed.Â Thatâs exactly what I did when I met Adam Silvera that night.
We hit it off, but at the time I didnât realize that I had just met one of the most kind, supportive, passionate and die hard book people in the business. He just seemed like a nice guy that worked at a bookstore and since I used to work in a bookstore, I was all âwe should hang out sometime.â
Adam Silvera is one of those brilliant people that is infectiously enthusiastic about books, particularly childrenâs and young adult.Â He reads everything he can get his hands on, and then he turns and shares those stories with others.Â I canât tell you how many books this guy has put into into the hands of kids, parents and teachers with a recommendation that makes you want to read it right away. The dude is a book pusher, a literacy advocate and he has a keen eye for the really good stories.Â He knows what kids and teens will like.Â And he has helped to launch the career of many authors I know. (Does anyone remember Leigh Bardugoâs debut pre-order campaign for Shadow and Bone? Well guess who orchestrated it back before she was a bestsellerâŚ.)
And all while heâs been doing a kickass job getting books into readersâ hands, Adam was working away quietly on his own story.Â I am honored to have read this one very early on (and again recently), and it is truly brilliant.Â The book is MORE HAPPY THAN NOT and it publishes today.Â I wonât put a review up here, because I no longer review online (and Iâm pretty sure we donât post them on pubcrawl anyway). But I do give this book a very, very enthusiastic recommendation. Aaron (the protagonist) lives in the Bronx (where Adam actually grew up). HisÂ story is both beautiful and heartbreaking, and his voice is authentic and raw. This is one of my top reads this year.Â Hell, itâs one of my top reads, period.
Hereâs the official description:
PartÂ Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, partÂ Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Adam Silvera’s extraordinary debut confronts race, class, and sexuality during one charged near-future summer in the Bronx.
The Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-relief procedure seems too good to be true to Aaron Soto — miracle cure-alls don’t tend to pop up in the Bronx projects. But Aaron can’t forget how he’s grown up poor or how his friends aren’t always there for him. Like after his father committed suicide in their one bedroom apartment. Aaron has the support of his patient girlfriend, if not necessarily his distant brother and overworked mother, but it’s not enough.
Then Thomas shows up. He has a sweet movie-watching setup on his roof, and he doesn’t mind Aaron’s obsession with a popular fantasy series. There are nicknames, inside jokes. Most importantly, Thomas doesn’t mind talking about Aaron’s past. But Aaron’s newfound happiness isn’t welcome on his block. Since he’s can’t stay away from Thomas or suddenly stop being gay, Aaron must turn to Leteo to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he is.
You’re probably wondering what “The Reason I Love This Business” is. Â And that’s easy. Â It’s the people in it. Â The ones like Adam who do it for the love of it, and who share that love with others. Â That is the reason I am so very happy that I finally found my path in books.
Now go check out his book already! You won’t regret it.
The other day I read a submission that I thought was really strong and had great potential. However, given my already busy client list I didn't think I was going to be the best agent for the project. This book needed someone who could be truly passionate about it, who had a love for the genre and who had the time and desire to really work with the author on the project. Instead of just passing however, I passed it on to another agent at BookEnds. Someone who fit every one of the criteria I thought the book needed.
When I do something like this I often wonder what the author will think. Does the author later think less of the offer she receives because it isn't the agent she submitted to, although it is the agency? or Does the author think this is a great opportunity because her project definitely landed in the right hands?
As we see when we receive responses to rejections, every author is different. Some will be offended that the agent they first submitted to didn't want it in the first place and others will be elated that the agency as a whole felt so strongly about the book.
Like everyone else, an agent only has a finite number of hours in the day and can only represent so many clients and give them the attention she feels they deserve. When reviewing submissions, we at BookEnds are reviewing for ourselves first and the agency second. We all work very closely together and that doesn't just mean bouncing ideas off each other, it means working hard to get as many great books published as we can, and helping each other build a strong career as an agent.
When we pass a project on to another agent within BookEnds it doesn't mean we didn't think it was great and are tossing our trash onto someone else's pile. In fact, it's the complete opposite, we think the book has some real potential and were excited about its possibilities, but feel it needs to be with the right agent, not any agent.
I'm going to pre-empt some questions here and say that we don't always pass everything on so if you feel there are two agents at BookEnds who might be right for your book feel free to query them both. Never at the same time, but if the first passes there's no reason you can't try the second. Just don't tell anyone else I said that. ;)
Hey all! It’s Kat here with Pub Crawl guest Mary Weber. Take it away, Mary!
âIt only takes one yes.â
Chances are if youâre an author (or even know an author) in search of an agent, youâve heard those words. And Iâll be honest, after 87 agent rejections, Iâve heard that phrase more times than I ever want to again â heck, Iâve even SAID those words to other writer friends as theyâve walked their own agent-search journeys.
Except now a few years beyond those 87 rejections, with two books pubbed and a publisher I love (Harper), and having had three agenty relationships, Iâve come to the conclusion the âit only takes one yesâ stance isnât exactly true.
I mean, technically it DOES take only one yes. But the agent from whom that yes appears is infinitely more important than the yes itself. Because it comes from a person â someone with personality, feelings, opinions, and skills â and itâs an agreement to enter a partnership with you, a person who also has feelings, personality, opinions, and skills.
Youâve probably heard it said an author/agent relationship is rather like a marriage. You hope itâs long-term, compatible, and that youâll have each otherâs backs through both the hard and awesome. And in some ways, yes, it is like that. Itâs also a business and a valuable career-growing game-changer, and if Iâve learned anything at all itâs that it matters more who you walk the pub adventure with than the adventure itself.
Which is where it comes down to trusting oneâs gut.
Because the conclusion Iâve come to is this: There are amazing agents out there just like there are amazing authors and business partners and friends. There are agents who rep loads of New York Times bestsellers, and agents who prefer to simply keep a list of personal clients. There are agents who let you call them in the middle of the night and there are those who keep very tight office hours. There are those building their own new careers and there are agents whoâve walked the trenches for twenty years.
And THEYâRE ALL INCREDIBLE (okay, for the most part. Just like authors and random nice people are also truly wonderful for the most part). Theyâre passionate and focused and they know more about the pub world than half of us could ever hope to.
But that doesnât mean theyâre the right fit for you. Or for me.
When I needed to find a new agent for the third time (my first was AMAZING but sadly passed away, the second didnât rep YA), Iâll be honest with you â I was a bit overwhelmed. Until I sat down and made a list. Not a âwhat an agent needs to offer meâ type list, but a list about me. My quirks, my preferences, and particularly my weaknesses. It quickly became clear the type of agent I needed (and the types of agents Iâd probably drive batty because I am like the chatty BFF of the pub world whoâd adore nothing more than to host publisher sleepovers and pedicure parties if I could).
It also became obvious what strengths I bring to the table (hey, free pedicures, people).
With those notes in mind, and my published debut in hand, I began asking about other authorâs agents (and yes I was terrified â what if I got the wrong fit?!). Just like my first go-around, it wasnât a fast process. It took months until the conversations naturally led where I needed them to go and for my gut to be the one saying yes rather than just my flattered heart.
At that point, I chose to go with a darling, deal-maker of a lady â someone who was just as interested in building a relationship of trust and business and friendship together over the long haul as I was. Someone who saw writing as bigger than just a business on both our parts. And someone whose strengths seriously covered my weaknesses. (Also, it doesnât hurt that sheâs all about the pedicure idea too, ahem.)
And now, sitting here typing this and reflecting back over that season?
I can truly say I could not be happier with my gut decision. Or with her âyes.â
Mary Weber is a ridiculously uncoordinated girl plotting to take over make-believe worlds through books, handstands, and imaginary throwing knives. In her space time, she feeds unicorns, sings â80s songs to her three muggle children, and ogles her husband who looks strikingly like Wolverine., They live in California, which is perfect for stalking LA bands, Joss Whedon, and the ocean.
Barry Goldblatt has been an agent since 2000. His agency focuses mostly on children's literature, but has expanded to include some adult fiction as well.
His client list is sterling: Christopher Barzak, Holly Black, Angela Johnson, Jo Knowles, Lauren Myracle, Genevieve Valentine, Colleen AF Venable, Ed Vere, Charles Vess, and Stephanie Yue.
He talked to us about being a writer, being an author, and how the two are sometimes distinct and sometimes overlap.
A writer is being creative. An author is doing business. The two can feed each other. If you're doing research, you're not putting words on the page, but you're writing. If you go to a conference, it's a mix of writing and being an author. Your task is to know what you're doing so you can best work out how to do it. Some key bits of advice:
Part of the process is figuring out the things that click for you individually. There's no one size fits all solution. But strategies to consider:
Be disciplined. The Freedom app, which turns off the Internet, can help. But you can't do it when you're reading. So, maybe setting goals and designing your day is a good strategy. Discipline your brain to know not to deal with dishes/laundry/day job. It's writing time.
Train your family. One of his clients works on the basement. Her six (six!) kids know that if the door is closed, they're not suppose to enter it unless their heads have fallen off.
Make goals. For some, having a 1,000-word daily goal is effective. For some, that's daunting. For picture book writers, that's two-and-a-half books.
Reward yourself. "We are monkeys. The best way to make something happen is to reward yourself." If you meet your writing goals, you get to eat the ice cream sundae. Or watch TV. Whatever goals make you want to work better--this is you figuring out what works for you.
Make attainable goals that suit you. You're not going to write a novel in a day. You can also change goals--2,000 words a day might not work for you, and failing and failing will put you in a bad mind space. So find goals that work for you.
(Barry likes Habit RPG, a role-playing game that rewards you for achieving goals.)
What don't authors need?
A social media presence. Do it if you're good at it. You do need an updated website.
Jenny Bent founded The Bent Agency in 2009; the agency now has nine agents, offices in New York City and London, and a strong focus on international rights. Her authors include SE Green, Tera Lynn Childs, AG Howard, and Lynn Weingarten. She is actively looking for new clients across all categories of middle grade and young adult. Her website is www.thebentagency.com and you can find her on Twitter @jennybent.
Highlights of Jenny's comments:
She starts out with mentioning some of her recent debut author sales, saying she has a lot of debut authors.
For YA she's looking for edgy, different, manuscripts that could almost be adult books, that push the envelope.
Calling herself "highly editorial," Jenny speaks of working with her clients on "at least two or three drafts before sending everything out."
As publishers are consolidating, she sees herself as "ever more of a protector," holding onto rights for her authors, and then being active about selling them. (Rights outside the primary U.S. deal like audio, foreign and film.)
"My big thing as an agent is honesty." Jenny explains her clients know when she praises their work that she's being real about it because when things aren't working she tells them about it. "What I'm looking for in a client is someone who will be honest back with me... Respect and honesty on both sides."
Jenny Bent founded The Bent Agency in 2009; the agency now has nine agents. Her authors include SE Green, Tera Lynn Childs, AG Howard, and Lynn Weingarten.
Jenny advices networking while writing your novel, otherwise known as, making new friends. It's more organic to create an online presence before your book is published rather than when your book is coming out in order to promote it.
Be helpful. The more you give back to this community, the more you have to gain.
Make use of every opportunity to learn more about your craft. Be at this conference is where we all need to be. Go to every workshop on craft you can find.
You shouldn't write to trend, but you should be aware of what's happening in the industry with trends. Don't chase them, but know what they are. Read the New York Times bestseller list every week. Know what's selling in your genre.
Jenny suggest one simple way to find an agent. Read the deals. See who is selling what. When you find people who are selling what you write, cross reference what you learn to be sure it's a good fit. It's a great way to find a great match for your work.
The Bent Agency has a great blog: Bent On Books. Once a month, each of the agents shares what they are looking for right now.
There is always so much going on in the children's literature world in Utah, which is wonderful and fun. But you might look beyond your borders to see what's going on elsewhere. For example, Idaho. We're just up the road a ways. And we seem to become a fantastic venue for kid lit authors to visit. Just in the last few weeks, we've hosted Markus Zusak, Jennifer Neilsen, and next week will be Sherman Alexie plus Andrew Smith.
I'm most excited, of course, about our Boise SCBWI conference in April, which we co-sponsor with the Boise State University Dept. of Literary, Language, and Culture and the Idaho Chapter of the International Literacy Association (formerly the International Reading Association).
This year we have several amazing speakers, including Matt de la Pena, Suzanne Morgan Williams, Utah's own Kristyn Crow, agent Sean McCarthy, and a fantastic panel of local authors.
Our theme is diversity in children's literature, which is a super hot topic right now, and worthy of our attention and examination. This conference is for all who are interested in kit lit, whether teachers, librarians, students, parents, and, yes, authors and illustrators.
Hey guys! I’m SO excited to share this funÂ (and super helpful/insightful) quiz from Jackie Lindert, a Â literary assistant at New Leaf Literary and Media.
JackieÂ earned her degree in English in her home state of Wisconsin. After college, she trekked to Colorado to attend the Denver Publishing Institute, eventually landing an internship in NYC with New Leaf Literary & Media. Following the internship, she found a job with the publishing house formerly known as Penguin Group as a Subsidiary Rights assistant. One year later she finds herself back at New Leaf as an assistant handling client care, mailings, and best of all, readingÂ manuscripts.
Have you always wanted to work in publishing? Do you already work in publishing, but arenât sure if youâre in the right place? Iâve answered yes to both of these questions before, and now I want to share how my experiences have brought me to where I am today. If this can help others find their place within this wonderful industry, Iâm thrilled to be able to help.
Do you think youâre best suited to work at a large publishing house or a boutique literary agency? If youâre trying to decide between the two, I hope youâll find an answer by the end of this quiz. Now, in case youâre wondering, Jackie, what makes you such an expert? Let me put your skepticism to rest. I have, in fact, been employed by both.
For one year, I worked in subrights at Penguin Random House, and I currently work at New Leaf Literary & Media Inc. Iâm proud to have both jobs on my resume, and Iâm hoping that based on my experiences, I can help others find where they fit, too. So take my quiz and see whether youâre suited for a big publisher or a boutique agency! But please note, these answers are based on my personal experiences and in no way reflect any companyâs opinions.
Publishing Quiz: Where Should You Work?
1. I like my role at work to be
A. Structured â I like a job with pre-determined guidelines and tasks in my specific department. Everyone has a role to play, and my position is well-defined.
B. Mixed â I like the opportunity to try new and different things that may not have been in the job description and help out in areas other than my own.
2. I like my work environment to feel
A.Â Corporate, with plenty of coworkers all working for one company.
B. Informal, with fewer employees and a smaller feel.
3. Iâd like the content I work on to
A. Stick to the same genres. Having a type of book Iâm known for and building a list that has a certain reputation. I like being peopleâs go-to for âX,Y and Z.â
B. Be varied. I donât wonât to get burnt out on the types of books I work on, so I like to mix it up with genres and age groups.
4. I tend to prefer working on
A.Â Projects that are pretty well polished, if not finished, by the time they get to me.
B. Projects that might need my help but have excellent potential.
Â 5.Â I like working for a company that
A. Has a recognized brand. People can point out the books my company has worked on quite easily.
B. Does a lot behind-the-scenes work. I donât mind that my company isnât widely recognized by general readers.
6. When it comes to authors, I like
A. Working with someone in the middle to mediate for us. They can work more closely with the content creator so I can focus on the product/book itself.
B. Working directly with them to make sure they are productive and happy.
7. When it comes to hierarchy, I prefer
A. Having a corporate ladder. I like the pecking order that exists and always knowing who I directly report to/who directly reports to me.
B. More freedom/fluidity. I like having to answer to myself more than anyone else. I prefer team efforts as opposed to a chain of command.
If you chose mostly Aâs:
Youâre best suited to work at a publishing house! You prefer structure, set guidelines, and familiar tasks. You dream of working for a particular imprint so you can build a list that complements that publisherâs brand. You like being but one part in a well-oiled machine. Itâs so fun to see your companyâs logo on the spines at bookstores and it makes you proud to be a part of such awesomeness. You give books and authors a home.
If you chose mostly Bâs:
Youâre best suited to work at a boutique agency! You like variety at work. You donât thrive under rules or guidelines and like to have a hand in editorial, publicity, ideation, etc., rather than focusing on just one role. You dream of working directly with authors and being their guide to find the right editor/publishing house. You find books and authors a home.
Again, please note that some answers could potentially fit either a publisher or an agency, depending, but Iâm generalizing based on my personal experience. Getting to work for both has been amazing. I wish everyone luck on their publishing path, and I hope youâve found some of the tips in this quiz helpful. Cheers to all!
What agents are selling young adult (YA) novels? Publishersmarketplace.com does a great job of monitoring the business of selling manuscripts to publishers. If you’re looking for an agent, you’ll want to spend a lot of time there doing research on agents to find the perfect match for you and your stories. Here’s just one way to look at the agents for young adult novels. This list includes information on the agent, links to his/her agency and the number of young adult deals made in the last twelve months. Please note that the agent/agency may have made many other deals in addition to these; these are limited to those self-reported by the agent/agency in the category of middle grade. For more information, go to Publishersmarketplace.com (you must pay to join to see full information).
I did a similar report on YA agents in 2013. At that time, I only listed the top 10 YA agents, who represented 72 deals. This time, the top 10 agents report 85 sales. This could be due to a couple reasons: first, Publisher’s Marketplace relies on agents to self-report. This means that the agents are, for the first time, in a sort of competition for rankings. Reporting more sales means they are ranked higher, which gives prestige and possibly brings in more prospective clients. Second, it could mean that sales are up for picture books. We hope the latter is the case, but suspect the first reason has much to do with the increased number of sales.