Tag Archives: e-books

Who’s Reading You? Juvie LitTrends

According to an article in Writer’s Digest, the biggest sales increase of 2012 was for juvenile lit.

That’s right, juvie lit writers, our audience is buying books. In fact, The Association of American Publishers tracked a huge jump in digital book sales for children and teens. To the tune of 475.1%.

This is something I’ve seen first hand while presenting in the classroom. A large portion of kids have e-readers available at home. Many are exposed to them in school. Still others are provided with personal e-readers by the school for the duration of their education. Granted, they are part of the bigger picture for learning in this technological world, yet it does translate into greater access of e-books for kids.

Note to self: e-MG and e-YA is A-OK.

And while the debate continues on the effectiveness of blogs and tweets as a viable marketing tool, one thing is certain: kids use facebook and twitter to connect and share. If we write great books and build a rapport with our young readers, they will joyfully spread the word, making juvenile lit the perfect age group to target with technology.

But let’s take this marketing idea one step further. Who is buying the 80.5% more juvenile lit books sold in 2012 compared to those bought in 2011? I can’t be 100% sure, but I suspect a large number of buyers come from the school itself. To learn more about the Market Within, hop on over to From the Write Angle for a look at what that potential buying power looks like.

But before you go, consider one more thing. Gift cards are handed out at birthday parties, in Christmas stockings and as graduation gifts more readily than politicians pass out handshakes. This instant access creates greater buying power in youth. All they need to download their favorite song, game or book is a gift card and a computer/e-reader/handheld gaming device. For the young bibliophile, it’s akin to books-on-demand. No longer do they need to make that special trip to the brick and mortar on Mom and Pop’s time. No longer does Grandma have to buy “safe” books that kids don’t want to read. No way. Because thanks to the gift card trend, kids can–and do–buy the books they hear about during lunch as soon as they get home. They are firmly in the driver’s seat of their reading tastes.

Does this mean we should all start writing for kids? Heck no. I would be sad if we did. However, it does mean that the market for this age group is flexible and strong. Good products can equal good sales for the savvy writer.

How does the convergence of technology and youth impact your writing/marketing plan? Have you ever considered e-MG before, or are you still reluctant to try digital only for youth? How does a traditionally lower e-price affect the sales potential of books for kids?

Curious minds want to know.

Turning Over the Reins: Education and E-Pubbing

Eldest left the home this weekend. As he begins college tomorrow, he will be firmly in control of his life. Successes and failures will be his. Choices will be made–sometimes impulsively, sometimes not. And while they will not always be the choices I would have made, the outcome of these decisions will be entirely his. He controls his future.

And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s why we have kids in the first place. It’s why we mold them gently, challenge them and teach them as much as we can in a few short years. We want them to become viable members of whichever community they decide to inhabit. We want them to earn their freedom.

Writing used to parallel parenting. Writers toiled over their pages and perfected their manuscripts. We then turned over the reigns to agents and editors and marketing departments. They controlled the final output. They shaped our careers and decided which books to print or not and who best to market them to. It worked out really well for a lot of authors for a lot of years. And still does, for that matter.

But, this traditional method isn’t always used in today’s publishing world. In fact, it’s not always desired. Some writers have taken publishing matters into their own hands and maintained control of every aspect of their novel’s successes or failures.

Take Ruth Cardello, for instance. This entrepreneurial dynamo tackled self-publishing and took charge of her writing destiny. Roughly one year ago, she struck out on her own and e-published her romance novels.

She put up with readers and writers believing she wasn’t a “real” writer because her books were not traditionally published. Instead of giving up, she persevered. She worked harder and smarter. Good, bad or indifferent, she took responsibility for the choices she made.

Ruth Cardello just turned down a seven-figure deal with a traditional publishing house. I repeat, “She just turned down a seven-figure deal.”

Seven figures.

Yeah.

All so she could remain in control. All so the responsibility of failures or successes would rest on her effort, not on the decisions of someone else.

Ruth has become the parent and the child. The writer and the publisher. The agent and marketing director.

I can only hope that Eldest’s transition into adulthood will follow a similar path. I hope he takes up where we left off and strives to give himself the best possible future. I hope rebellion isn’t just around the corner and tightening of the reigns in ours. I hope we can work together to make him a viable and successful member of whichever community he chooses to inhabit.

Dang, I miss him already!