Once upon a time, picture books were plentiful in the land, and whoever wanted to find a wonderful story to share with a child had only to walk into a bookstore and be overwhelmed with the wealth of choices.
Then darkness came to the publishing world. Instead of many publishers, there were fewer and fewer large companies, each owned by a massive media corporation. These mega publishers weren’t as interested in strong stories and fine illustration. They were interested in books by celebrities and books that would sell merchandise. Instead of taking risks on new voices or subjects, they focused on what had already sold well – one Harry Potter book led to a slew of imitators. One Twilight book created a wake of supernatural novels. Instead of looking for the great books of the future, they looked for books that were like great books of the past.
Creston Books plans to fill the void left behind by the major New York publishers who no longer put out a broad range of quality picture books. The golden age of picture books, when fine books were edited and published despite not being blockbusters, doesn’t have to be over. Creston Books will be author/illustrator driven, with talented, award-winning creators given more editorial freedom and control than in a typical New York house. Big publishers put out a large list, but only promote a select few books. As a small publisher, Creston Books will promote each title heavily, drawing on the skills of its accomplished authors. This will be a press that values strong writing and art above everything else, a company that cares about the magic that happens when a parent reads a picture book to a child. Creston Books creates today the classics of tomorrow.
Drawing on the experience, expertise, and personal connections of the editor-in-chief, best-selling author/illustrator Marissa Moss, Creston Books is in a unique position to develop talent. The authors of the first list of books have won over 100 awards between them. Elisa Kleven, Mollie Katzen, Stacey Schuett, Dan San Souci, David Schwartz, Elise Primavera, Joan Lester, and Kathryn Otoshi are some of the fine creators working with us who will print books in our first two years – an impressive range of talent. As the success of David Egger’s press, McSweeney’s, proves, there’s a hunger for beautifully produced books of exceptional content.
These authors do many school visits, getting their books before a broad audience and already have strong relationships with booksellers. Children’s picture books provide a uniquely important cultural legacy, the basis for a life-long love of reading, and an emotional connection between parent and child. Creston Books keeps this essential art form alive and thriving.
All our books will be printed in the USA on sustainably-sourced paper. All our authors and promotion will focus on the domestic market. We’re committed to a business that’s socially and environmentally responsible.
We already are working with PGW, Publishers Group West, to warehouse and distribute books, an important partnership that ensures our books will be seen and sold nationally and internationally. They’re excited to work with a West Coast publisher of our quality– we hope you will be, too!
With your help, we can produce our first list of four books for fall 2013, and second list for spring 2014. If we exceed our fundraising goal, then we can increase our list to twelve books a year instead of eight!
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