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Publisher Profile: Arcadia Children’s Books

Hoca

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The CBC asks Nancy Ellwood, Publishing Director of Arcadia Children’s Books.


How did your publishing house start out?

Arcadia itself has been around for decades, but Arcadia Children’s Books started in 2019, after it was acquired. The new leadership looked at all the incredible local history we produce each year—for adults—and thought, “Wait a second! We’re missing a huge opportunity by not publishing for kids.” Voila! ACB was born.


Where in the country is your house based? What do you love about being based there?

The company HQ is in Charleston, SC, but I’m based in my home in Queens, New York. I love to visit the main office. That’s the heart of the company, in a beautiful city that is rich with history.

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What conventions and conferences does your publishing house usually attend?

As a small independent publisher, we favor geographically focused shows: all the regional ABA shows, plus Winter and Children’s Institutes. We also attend multiple gift, hardware, and grocery store shows nationwide.


How many books does your house aim to publish per season/year?

ACB currently publishes about thirty new titles a year. If we’re launching a new series, that can go up to forty or fifty titles.

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Which genres does your house prefer to publish?

We publish local books for kids 0 to 12-ish. Most—but not all—of our titles are nonfiction.


Which formats does your house prefer to publish?

Right now we’re loving board books, picture books, and middle grade paperbacks. But we are open to any formats that help bring local stories to life.

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Which title does your house feel deserved more love than it got?

The Canteen! Oh man, this is the MOST incredible story about communities in and around North Platte, Nebraska, during World War II. Everyone in a 200+ mile radius donated their time, skills, resources, and rations EVERY DAY for over 4 YEARS (1,558 days to be exact) to treat soldiers to hot meals and warm smiles as they passed through North Platte on troop transport trains. The book is chock-full of historical images, letters, postcards, and other ephemera that bring this time in history to life.


Which upcoming titles is your house buzzing about?

We’re thrilled about how our first-word series, Local Baby, is expanding. Jersey Shore and Florida are our next two titles. Our latest picture book is a stunner: Leo the Lazy Lizard, which is all about the beauty of being still and present, and opening your mind to how others see the world. For our middle-grade readers, we have a gorgeously illustrated collection of biographies called The City We Built. It’s a celebration of the Black men and women who helped Austin, Texas, become the incredible city it is today.


Which of your frontlist titles would be great for a school or public library?

Really, our whole catalog would be phenomenal in any library. One of our newest picture books—The Lake I Love—is a beautiful, nostalgic summer trip to a lake cabin and a wonderful read along. We have a handful of new Spooky America titles, for middle graders who like things that go bump in the night. And Hello, Pet Friends! is one of our newest board books, perfect for little readers to find their favorite pets.

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Thank you, Arcadia Children’s Books!
 
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