OUP Children’s is hoping to retain rights and work more closely with authors by developing book ideas through its new Creative Kitchen.
Publisher Liz Cross said that rather than acquire completed manuscripts, she will look to develop story ideas with authors—often débuts—for books to publish through the initiative.
“We felt it was ever harder to work with authors over a development process and we were heartbroken about some [writers] we had to turn down—perhaps they had a great voice but no commercial ideas,” she said.
Acquiring books through the new method will also see OUP keep the rights. “Increasingly agents want to retain rights but often our business is about selling rights and we wanted to control them,” Cross said.
Cross has published three Creative Kitchen books this year, with five books in the pipeline, including Unstoppable Max by Julia Patton and The Mouse That Cancelled Christmas by Samara Hardy. Ten projects are slated for publication by Creative Kitchen next year.