Feb 22, 2013

Picture Books and Ebooks: A Winning Combination?

Ebooks are the new frontier of publishing in a fast-paced industry (hello, Amazon’s “used ebooks”). As digitizing becomes more common, new obstacles and innovations unique to the ebook abound. For publishers of titles for both children and adults like Scarletta, the books that pose the most exciting challenge in going digital are picture books.

From the beginning, picture ebooks demanded new technology that adult fiction and non-fiction did not. It was only in 2011 when color display readers were developed and the first picture ebooks were published. Though the picture quality doesn’t compromise the vividness of the illustrations, some aspects can be lost when a print picture book is transferred to ebook form. The two-page spread, for instance, which is a panoramic-like illustration that reaches across two pages, can be accommodated by Apple’s iPad, but can’t be fully appreciated in readers like the NookColor or the Kindle. Fold-out spreads, end-paper art, and different book sizes (think a tall, skinny book about giraffes) are among the embellishments that are unique to print picture books.

And what are the effects of this digital shift on our young readers?

Feb 15, 2013

Coffee Boy?

It’s been two weeks in the office and no one—not one single person, not one single time—has asked me to get them a cup of coffee. I’ve yet to make copies of that finance report or pick up lunch down the street for the gang.  It seems to me that Scarletta has no idea how these internship things work.  For now, let’s keep it our little secret.

Instead, I have this whole little routine in the office that seems to go off without a hitch.  I sit at my own desk, with my own stack of mail, with my own (terrible, uncomfortable, utterly the worst) chair, and I do the work of a typical employee in an acquisitions role. Registering all of our submissions—both hard copy and electronic—occupies a good chunk of my morning. It’s fun to sift through our submitted materials and take a first look at all of the titles that come through our doors.  There are picture books, YA novels, memoirs, and even pamphlets—well, a pamphlet—describing the various types of vermin that inhabit our world, most of which we aren’t even fully aware of. After hundreds of paper cuts and under-the-breath questions like “why is this so sticky?” and “who uses this much tape?” it’s off to the Internet to catch up on book news.

Do you know how much information is on the world-wide-web?  

Feb 8, 2013

The Other Intern

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to start this paragraph. It’s embarrassing, really. Should I be funny?  How professional do I sound? Do I sound competent? Does anyone care? What’s the issue, Josh? Oh, that’s your first sentence?  What was Nora thinking when she brought you on board? Is that a coffee stain on your shirt? How many times are you going to press backspace today?  

As the new worker bee for Scarletta Press, I just want to make sure that everything I do is perfect, perfect, perfect. I am so sweaty right now.  Profusely perspiring at my desk is not where I wanted to be at 9:30 on my second day in the office.

Oh, I’m a worrywart too.  That’s probably clear. 

What else, what else? 

We've Got New Interns!

As spring creeps closer, bringing a new crop of exciting titles from Scarletta, so too have there been a few changes around the office lately. The other staff members and I were sorry to see our fall intern, Lexy, go. But allow me to introduce one of our new spring editorial interns, Emily.


Hello! My name is Emily, and first I just want to say that I’m really looking forward to this opportunity to be a part of Scarletta. This season is an especially exciting time to join Scarletta as books from the new imprints are going to press. As we pioneer Scarletta Kids, Scarletta JR, and Red Portal, the last being a new hybrid model for self-publishing, a new vision for the future of what books can be is taking shape.

It was this willingness to innovate in the face of a quickly changing publishing world that initially drew me to Scarletta. While continuing to publish the inspiring stories that are a hallmark of their titles for adults, I was impressed by both the educational and literary quality that Scarletta’s upcoming children’s books promised. The experience and knowledge that I bring to Scarletta is, I hope, equally comprehensive. While my undergraduate education focused on English literature, I have also worked as a literacy tutor and student teacher in elementary school classrooms. I’ve learned that children are unique as readers go; not only do they deserve enthralling stories that will ensure they are lifelong readers, but books that also keep in mind how they are developing as learners. Because of our work at Scarletta, such books are making their way into the hands of young readers.

I look forward to being a part of Scarletta’s evolving vision as a press through editorial support and sharing the latest news here in our blog. Next month, we’ll begin a year in which we’ll publish more titles than ever before. The first title is Nalah and the Pink Tiger, a book I’m particularly enthusiastic about, and one that brought a puppeteer to our author list! Amazing things are happening every day at Scarletta. I look forward to sharing them with you!