1. What is Firebird, exactly?
Firebird is a paperback-only imprint that publishes fantasy and science fiction titles - reprints and reissues - for an audience of teenagers and adults. The one exception is the hardcover anthology Firebirds, which contains original stories by authors connected with the imprint.
2. What makes Firebird special?
If a book has a Firebird logo on it, you know that a lot of people feel passionately about it. You'll find titles you thought went out of print years ago, or new books by authors whose work you admire. They're literary, but they're also enormously accessible, and have been reviewed well or won awards. They're books that you can feel safe taking a chance on - the chance that you'll probably really enjoy it.
Firebird is meant to be cross-shelved and marketed, so that potential readers, be they teens who browse the adult genre shelves, or adult genre fans in the teen section, can find it. All of the covers are done by adult genre cover artists, and the inside back cover always features an essay or biography written by the author.
3. How did it come to be?
I (that would be Sharyn November) have been working with teenagers in the schools, in libraries, and online since 1996. I quickly discovered that all of the most passionate readers loved sff, and went into the adult genre section - and that older fans of the same genre always went into the teen section to find new books or reread old favorites. We've been publishing Lloyd Alexander and Eva Ibbotson in Puffin successfully for years, and had a number of older sff titles that I thought would have a terrific crossover audience if we just packaged them correctly. It's a shame when great books get lost, and there are so many good ones out there!
4. How many books will do you publish per year?
Between 12 and 18. We publish three lists per year, so that's 4-6 books per list.
5. What if I want to submit a manuscript?
Firebird does not publish original fiction in paperback. I do edit original hardcover fantasy and science fiction for the Viking list, but almost all of that is solicited. In other words: No, I'm sorry.
I have been getting a lot of e-mail from teenage authors, so I thought I would add the following: There are a number of good publications that consider teen writing, and those include Merlyn's Pen, Writes of Passage, and Cicada. Their websites are easy to find, and I suggest you start there.
6. What if I've written some books that are now out of print, and I want to submit them for consideration?
Again, send email to email@example.com* and explain who you are, what they are, and why they would be right for the list. Warning: out of print books have to be very special in order to warrant reissue, especially without a new frontlist hardcover title to support them.
7. What if there is an author or out of print book I think you should look into?
See the previous answer. I am always looking for new books and authors to read, and chances are I'll probably check it out. But don't be offended if nothing happens.
8. Tell me more about your teen readers! I want to be one.
I have over 100 teenagers all around the world who read books and manuscripts for me, visit websites and let me know what they think, and answer various questions. The process starts with a poll I'll send, so I can see what your tastes are. (Send email to me at the address above.) This is not a high-traffic thing, so don't worry.
9. What happened to the newsletter?
We now have emailing capability, and the newsletter will go out three times a year, coordinated with our publishing seasons. You can sign up in the sidebar, but you have to be 13 or older.
10. I have a suggestion about the website.
For this, send email to YRMarketing@us.penguingroup.com.* They are the intrepid web people who makes things go. I am simply the Content Provider.
*You must be 13 or over to email us. Sorry, it's the law!