Editor Spotlight: Robert Agis
April 8, 2022
We are pleased to feature Robert Agis president of Starry Forest Books. Starry Forest Books will give away one picture book manuscript critique (fiction or nonfiction) to one lucky reader! See entry requirements in the Rafflecopter at the end of this interview.
Tell us about Starry Forest Books! What are you all about?
At Starry Forest Books, we believe that little readers deserve amazing books. For us, there is no detail—or reader—too small. From innovative board books to elegant picture books, from interactive nonfiction to chapter books for any reader, our goal is to make something beautiful. We value quality storytelling, exceptional art, high production standards, and incomparable design to craft books that are treasured worldwide.
Tell us about your background and how you came to be a part of the book world.
My path to the publishing world was not traditional. I’ve always been in the arts—studying as a pianist, then as a composer, then as an actor. If you name a musical, I’ve probably acted in it or music directed it. Occasionally a friend will ask, “Did I see you on TV last night?” To which I respond, “Probably. A re-run?” I wrote a couple of children’s books (none that you’ve seen) and I thought I’d get my foot in the door by editing. Then I started narrating audiobooks, created an audiobook company, and built up a publishing company—Starry Forest Books.
I value the idea of beauty. That’s why our vision statement is “Make Something Beautiful.”
What kinds of books/stories are you looking to acquire these days?
We are interested in picture books, chapter books, and nonfiction, all with distinctive voices and points of view. We value stories, characters, and art that are beautiful, funny, or both! We value diversity and inclusion in our creators and in our readers.
What causes you to reject a submission? What excites you about a potential new author?
The most helpful thing a creator can do is dedicate themselves to their craft and present their best work. We like submissions from folks who know their audience and have done their market research. What other books are out there? How will yours make an impact? Sometimes, even when a submission checks all of these boxes, they are just not a good fit for our list. Keep creating and sharing anyway!
We get excited about authors who write with imagination and generosity of heart. Writing, or illustrating, a story is about giving a special gift to a reader. These are creators who care enough to write manuscript after manuscript, knowing it can take time to hone one’s craft, and who are open to collaborating with an editor to make their manuscript the best it can be.
What projects do you have coming up that you want to share with us?
We have three amazing books launching this month!
Help little ones get used to masks at their own pace, and in the safety of their own space with this interactive, lift-the-flap book! The book portrays proper mask positioning while assuring children that trusted adults and peers—teachers, friends, neighbors, and more—remain present beneath them.
Baby's Classics: Dracula
Take the first BITE out of gothic classics with this charming, age-appropriate little book—perfect for little hands! When a mysterious client invites Jonathan Harker to Transylvania, the young realtor doesn’t hesitate to travel to Count Dracula’s spooky, crumbly castle. But the count has strange habits … he acts like a bat, and tries to bite people. Can Jonathan and his fiancée Mina teach the creepy count how to make friends?
Baby's Big World: Green Energy
It's never too soon to share the potential of clean energy with your little one. Peek underground where most fuel comes from and then look at nature to discover new ways to produce energy! With bright illustrations and basic language written for younger readers, this book prompts important discussions about energy: "Where can we get more?"
Where can people find you online?
a Rafflecopter giveaway