Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 30, 2014

State of the Children’s Publishing Market

The New Jersey SCBWI Conference was this past weekend and it was a roaring success. I open up Sunday with a State of the Market Report and as promised, here is the first installment.  I included the top six publishers from June 2013 – June 2014 vs. June 2012 – June 2013, with their industry ranking and amount of contracts comparisons in YA – MG – PB. The most interesting thing to me was the fact that Sky Pony Press was ranked number 6 in the list of Top Publishers. I think this is quite a feat, considering they opened their door less than 3 years ago. I’m impressed.


Check back tomorrow to see the next three slides. If you attended the conference, I hope we had time to say “Hello.” It really was a great conference and it was wonderful to see all my old friends and meet new friends who I hope to see again next year.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Great weekend all around! Thank you for the wonderful presentation. Nice to see you :-).

  2. Thanks, Kathy, for your presentation and for posting all this information. It’s exciting to see the rise in book contracts.

    • It is, so now we need to get revising.

  3. It really was a GREAT presentation over the weekend Kathy! You are such a wealth of knowledge, I can’t even imagine how time consuming that was to prepare. I’m looking forward to seeing it all be shown in bite sized pieces on your blog! 🙂

    • Erika,

      I am so glad you are on my team. Thanks!


    • THERE you are, Erika! And yes, I DO remember seeing your avatar and post 😀 So nice to have met you!

  4. Very interesting, Kathy! But I’m not clear on the context. Those are contracts with who? Members of NJSCBWI? Contracts reported on Publisher’s Marketplace? Or some other source? Presumably they aren’t the total # of contracts signed by those publishers? Thanks!

    • These were the first 6 slides from my State of the Market Report I gave at the NJSCBWI Conference. This listed the top 15 publishers for the three categories. Those are the number of contracts signed during last year vs. the previous year according to Publishers Market. The publishers may have signed other contracts, but they were not reported to PM.

      • Thanks! I thought it must be something like that. As you know, but others may not, PM relies on reporting by agents of deals they made. These companies produce many more books per year than the numbers reported on PM, and must have finalized many more contracts than what PM reported. Were you able to determine if the fraction reported is a representative sample or not?

      • Harold,

        I did clarify this during the presentation, so I think everyone understood that we were comparing apples to apples. None of the 20 editors I surveyed had a firm number on the amount of books bought in each category, but they thought the ratio was representative.

  5. Loved your presentation, Kathy, and of course the shout-outs for Sky Pony and Pandemic. 🙂


    • You know, I KNEW your imprint was Sky Pony Press, Yvonne, but when I read what Kathy wrote, I was too lazy to go up and peek in your book! lol I’m really looking forward to when I’m able to begin reading it, and I have a feeling I’m going to wish I started sooner—no matter WHEN I begin! 😀 So glad to have it 🙂

      • Donna Marie — We all have big piles of books to read! I hope you enjoy it when it’s time for Pandemic. ♥


  6. Thank you Kathy! The presentation was great, and I could tell you put a LOT of work into it.

    • Lauri,

      Thanks! I think everyone was interested in the presentation and I can use it to share with everyone who didn’t attend. Thanks for saying it was great.


  7. The conference has become one of the great highlights in my life each year (well, I missed last year 😦 ) There’s simply nothing like it! And I’m so glad you’ll be posting this wealth of valuable information, Kathy. We all want it! 😀 Thank you!

    • I’ll try to call you on Wednesday.

      • …that’ll work at night 🙂

  8. Thanks for the terrific info, Kathy. Being a Midwesterner, I haven’t made it to the NJ conference, so I appreciate you sharing on your blog. I’m sure you would’ve addressed this at the conference for lucky attendees but, having missed it, can you tell me why HMH had 0 contracts signed in 2012-13? Is it as Harold alluded to — they signed but didn’t report the contracts to PM?

    • Patricia,

      I assume there are a lot of reasons for this. First those numbers were from 2012. They were big on educational books. Plus, they may not have been as open to agents at that time. What I was reporting was what was reported to PM from agents. Plus there was a bankruptcy they were working through. I didn’t have time to contact them to get an official statement, so what I am saying is just conjecture on my part and it was not part of the questions I asked the editors.


      • Thank you for enlightening me, Kathy. Publishing is a complicated business, for sure.

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