For months we have not been sharing some very exciting news, because for months we have been existing in a state of sworn secrecy. But now the moment has arrived, and we can finally spill the beans.
Our longtime editor (and, dare I say, friend) Erin Stein, formerly of Little Brown Books for Young Readers, left her old post in December to start a new imprint at Macmillan. For those of you not in the know, an imprint is a sub-division of a publishing house, a curated collection of titles with a particular editorial sensibility. Erin, who has long been a fan of our work, decided to include our book Babies Ruin Everything among the titles in her first “list,” which is the group of titles offered by an individual editor or imprint.
We are extremely pleased. Not only do we love working with Erin (who was editor for our surprising journey into Spider Man’s psyche, The Super Hero Squad Flips Out), but the thought of being a part of something that is just getting started appeals to our entrepreneurial sensibilities.
The reason we are telling you this today is that the something that we are a part of was just officially launched. Erin’s imprint will be called…wait for it…Imprint!
Here’s the story in Publisher’s Weekly (including brief mention of Robbi and me and Babies Ruin Everything).
As for the book in question, Babies Ruin Everything is the trade picture book version of our old Idiots’Books title of the same name.
The original is a satirical piece with sophisticated language and NSFK illustrations and intended for adults. Version 2.0 is still lighthearted and funny, but definitely meant for kids. Specifically, it is targeting the market niche defined by families having second babies (apparently, this is a robust and viable group of book-buying people). The book helps build empathy with kids who are feeling a bit put upon by the arrival of the younger sibling. You might buy it for your kid if your kid is worried about the new baby. Or as a shower gift. Or because you enjoy stories involving ruin.
Here is the unwitting protagonist of Babies Ruin Everything, shown here in the series of sketches we submitted to Erin in the process of developing the character.
And here is the insurgent, upstart baby in question. He who ruins everything. He whose disarming affect and perpetual grin makes him impossible not to root for, to the constant consternation of our heroine.
And here is our protagonist’s trusty, loyal sidekick, Leonard the hamster, always by her side in good times and bad, not a fan of babies, to be sure.
If you ask Erin, Leonard is the actual protagonist of Babies Ruin Everything. Beyond her love of books, Erin has great affinity for all things small and cute and fuzzy.
And who is this this towering, hamster-loving scion of the publishing universe, you might ask?
Here she is (far right), along with our (amazing) agent, Meredith Kaffel (red dress), at the Imprint offices in NYC last week.
There is much more to be said about this book, about Imprint, about our Macmillan adventures to this point, but for now I will leave you with the view from the 8th story conference room of the Flatiron Building, which is Macmillan’s home. It was an inspiring backdrop for a creative brainstorm.
We gathered that day to discuss the making and marketing of Babies, which, contrary to the usual terms of gestation, will not be delivered until about a year from now.
Fortunately, Robbi’s obligations are a little bit different this time around.