Field Trip: Tour Peachtree Publishers!

Earlier this month I flew to Atlanta for a book event and had the opportunity to stop by Peachtree Publishers. A visit to a publishing house is a rare treat for me, so I thought PBB readers might enjoy a quick behind-the-scenes tour.

 

As I approached the front door, there was a lovely plant on the terrace soaking in the Georgia sun. Any guess what it was? Yes, a peach tree! (A gift sent by an admirer to Peachtree years ago.)

 

Inside, the lobby was warm and welcoming with a gorgeous display of Peachtree’s latest crop of beautiful books. (I’ll resist the temptation to point out Countdown on the top row, third from right. Or maybe not.)

 

First I stopped at the office of Margaret Quinlin, President and Publisher of Peachtree, an independent woman-owned business. Margaret has been at the helm of Peachtree since 1990 (28 years!) Near as I can tell, Margaret knows everything about the book business. And as you can see by the wonderful hand-written notes on her door, she’s also very connected to readers, authors, and notables in the publishing world.

 

Down the hall, a purple wall filled with striking art by Michael Austin from Late for School (written by Mike Reiss) caught my eye. What an inspiring place to work!

 

Of course, fantastic books were everywhere — in hallways and conference rooms!

 

Next stop was the cheery office of Emily Dowdell, Peachtree’s top-notch Publicity and Marketing Associate. We’ve had plenty of bonding time during book events in Chicago, New York, Washington DC, and Georgia. She keeps everyone organized, including me.

 

My editor Kathy Landwehr had an awesome office with lots of enticing books and projects-in-the works. My favorite find was her “Do Not Disturb” tape, which can be pulled out across her doorway so she can focus on a manuscript. I definitely need that for my home office! (Fyi – Margaret Quinlin is in Kathy’s office.)

Next, I came across something very interesting — the dreaded slush pile!

Peachtree’s “pile” was surprisingly small. (I’ve always envisioned huge, towering piles of submissions in editors’ offices.) Their awaiting submissions were neatly organized by the date they were received, and would be read in the order they were received, with each one receiving a response in the mail. They receive about 200,000 manuscripts a year and publish 45 annually.

Acquired submissions eventually move into Peachtree’s current books-in-progress area (below.) Each large clear envelope is filled with the latest art and story revisions so everyone can access the project quickly.

Peachtree’s warehouse and shipping operations are conveniently attached to their office.

All their titles are organized on open shelving so it’s easy to grab the books needed to fill each order. I never thought of a warehouse as a cozy place, but this one was beautiful and inviting with all the colorful, shiny books stacked on shelves.

Well, that concludes the tour.

For those wondering about submissions, yes, Peachtree accepts unsolicited submissions in the following genres: picture books, early reader chapter books, middle grade, and young adult (all four genres in both fiction and nonfiction.)

Check out the Submission Guidelines on Peachtree’s contact page for more details.

You can check out Peachtree’s books on their blog. If you’d like to know more about the staff, here are a few interviews from their blog.

Margaret Quinlin, President/Publisher

Kathy Landwehr, Vice President/Associate Publisher

Nicki Carmack, Creative Director

Vicky Holifield, Senior Editor

Jonah Heller, Assistant Editor

Suzanne Slade

Suzanne Slade

Suzanne Slade is the author of more than 100 books. A mechanical engineer by degree, she enjoys writing about science topics and fascinating historical figures. Recent books include: Countdown: 2979 Days to the Moon, Astronaut Annie, Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story (2018 NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books, Amelia Bloomer List), Dangerous Jane (CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books list), The Music in George's Head: George Gershwin Creates Rhapsody in Blue (4 Starred Reviews, 2017 Golden Kite), Friends for Freedom, and The Inventor’s Secret (NSTA Best STEM Book, illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt). Coming soon -- A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon (Little, Brown, 2019), The Daring Dozen (Charlesbridge, 2019), Exquisite (Abrams, 2020) and TBA titles from Little, Brown and Calkins Creek. Learn more about Suzanne and her books at: www.suzanneslade.com

37 Comments:

  1. Danielle Hammelef

    Thank you for this post! The photos are much appreciated and I enjoyed my tour.

  2. So fun to learn more about Peachtree from the inside. Love their beautiful, enduring books.

  3. I’ve always admired Peachtree. This tour was a nice peek behind the curtain. Thanks!

  4. Sheri Delgado-Preston

    Hi-Thank you so much for this delightful tour and awesome information about Peachtree Publishers. It’s so helpful to see a behind-the-scenes look at children’s book publisher. Thank you again Suzanne!!

  5. This is wonderful, Suzanne! What a great idea to share this behind the scenes peek with everyone. I worked with Peachtree on THE GRUDGE KEEPER, and they were so lovely. Thank you and congrats on your new book!

  6. I loved this behind-the-scenes look! Thanks for taking us along on the tour with you!

  7. This was one of my favorite posts in a long time. I feel like I took the tour with you, and it really gave a warm and nice description of a publishing company. Thank you.

  8. Ahhhh. A peek behind the curtain! What a treat! Thank you for sharing this tour with us all!

  9. I’m always so curious about people’s workspaces, so this was really fun. Lovely offices! And how interesting to see an actual “slush pile.” Thanks, Suzanne!

    • I’ve always been curious about editor’s offices, so this visit was fun. So glad you could join me on the virtual tour Linda! I bet you’ve visited a few publishing houses yourself!

  10. That was a fun tour! Loved seeing where your manuscript went to published!

  11. Thanks so much for the behind-the-scenes tour!

  12. Wow! I loved this behind-the-scenes tour. One of my favorite posts you’ve done so far! Thanks, Suzanne.

  13. Oh, how I love a good behind-the-scenes peek. Thanks for giving us the tour!

  14. Thank you for the tour!! I have always been drawn to Peachtree Publishers as a “good luck” publisher possibility for me because my daughter lives in Atlanta and I am working on PB manuscripts. Somehow seeing actual photos of people and the work settings makes a publishing house feel less intimidating. Congratulations on your book being out there on the display rack-awesome!!
    Take good care!!

  15. How fun you have a daughter living in Atlanta! Congrats on the pb manuscripts you’re working on. It seems like Peachtree may be a great place for your stories!

  16. I enjoyed your tour of the tour. I was most surprised by the books-in-progress photo. I think because I’d never thought about how they’d have to keep the different pieces together and accessible. Thanks!

    • I was also surprised to see the books-in-progress area, but then I remembered seeing the same thing when I visited Charlesbridge. (I have the memory of a goldfish!) Thanks for stopping by Mary!

  17. This post was so much fun! I sold my second book to Peachtree . . . [no publication date yet].

  18. YEA!! Congrats Kathy! Can’t wait to hear more about your next Peachtree book.
    If it’s a picture book, let me know when it gets close to release and we’ll do a post about it.

  19. Thank you so much for the Peachtree tour! Very interesting to get an inside peek at this wonderful publishing company. And it was a special treat to see my book ZEBRA ON THE GO displayed on Emily Dowdell’s desk! Congratulations on COUNTDOWN. I’m looking forward to reading it.

  20. Zebra on the Go is an awesome book! And it does look great on Emily’s shelf. Thanks for stopping by!

  21. Very fun to see the inside of this publisher! Thanks for sharing!

  22. Late to the party but how FUN!!! Thank you for sharing your pictures. It must be so wonderful surrounded by stories in all stages of development!!!

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