Live Q&A with Little, Brown/Hachette Books Group Editor Esther Cajahuaringa

We are so happy to welcome Esther Cajahuaringa, an editor at Hachette Book Group.

This is the first in a series of live-recorded Q&A’s with agents and editors. Are you interested in attending events like this? Learn more about our member lounge here:

8:05 Why can’t one publishing house can’t have two similar books at the same time?

9:41 How do the seasons work in publishing?

10:58 When are book tours a thing?

12:28 When can authors submit directly to you, or to publishers? Do publishers ever help authors find agents?

14:30: What does Little, Brown publish?

16:10: A little love for sales and marketing.

17:02: Do you recommend hiring copy editors? What do they do at a publishing house, and with illustrations?

21:22 How perfect should a manuscript be before it goes to an agent or an editor?

23:50 What’s a success story you can tell us? (Plus a story about working with Mo Willems.)

27:21: If you’re an author-illustrator, how much do you have to worry about page layout before you submit your picture book dummy? How does that work?

29:27 What’s on Little, Brown’s wish list?

31:37 You mentioned taking a middle grade novel and turning it into an early reader. Can you tell us what went into that decision, and the difference between the two?

35:11 What’s something you’ve changed your mind about in your time in the industry?

37:07: More on laying out illustrations.

37:26: Any tips for writing books about kids in foster care, and books about the emotional well-being of children? What’s the line between commercial and educational?

38:50 Tell is about the first time you saw one of your books for sale.

40:25: What’s something you wish writers knew about our side of the desk?

41:55: How important is conflict in picture books? What about in a lyrical picture book? What’s the difference between conflict and tension?

43:46: What’s your number one tip for writers?

Esther Cajahuaringa is an editor at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. As a former educator and non-profit organizer, Esther draws upon her experiences working directly with kids when thinking about today’s readers. She has worked with Joe Cepeda, David Goodner, Jyoti Rajan Gopal, Rhode Montijo, Andrea Tsurumi, and Mo Willems to name a few. She’s avidly seeking picture books and graphic novels. She has her master’s degree in Curriculum & Teaching with an emphasis in literacy from Teachers College, Columbia University. Originally from Southern California, she’s made the East Coast home for the last seven years. Esther is a daughter of immigrant parents and truly believes in the power of storytelling, because it changed her world. You can find her on Twitter at