May 7, 2017: Guest Speaker: Russell Busse, Assoc. Editor, Little Brown BFYR

by Vicky Rubin on May 21, 2017

Guest Speaker: Russell Busse, Associate Editor, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Russell Busse has been with Little, Brown BFYR since 2012. He was recently promoted to Associate Editor.
He handles PB, MG, YA also graphic novels
He spends a lot of time in comic book world
He studied English lit in college, thus publishing was a good career for him to pursue.
Acquisitions process: goes to Editorial Director, sales & marketing, designer, Art Director and maybe a Senior Editor.
There are 8 PB editors and a variety of styles are represented. Page count depends on book.
He likes: modern, fun, silly
bright colors, cotton candy colored work.
Anthropomorphic okay.
Spare word count – heavier on illustration
Likes thumbnails plus a couple finished spreads to get a sense of pallet. Prefers dummy to see pacing.
Think how best to use front matter as part of the story
He looks at art first because text is easier to change.
Likes to see action piece
Wish list: He said there are a lot of NYC books, he would like to see a Chicago-based story. He mentioned Chance the Rapper, who reached out to at-risk youth –coming from community figure in Chicago.
Russell passed around some recent books from Little, Brown, including :
You Don’t Want a Unicorn
Wolfie the Bunny
He reviewed 5 portfolios by lottery.
Submissions are mostly from agents, that’s LB policy.
Illustrators–first use list already have, 2nd list of artists would work with if available,  3rd list of agencies or ADs have worked with previously. He mentioned looking for illustrators at events.
He will take dummy submissions via email – put CBIG in subject line
Illustrators, send postcards
No deadline, but summer is a good time.
His email for submissions is: