February is a great time to talk about children’s books, in the aftermath of Toy Fair, Digital Kids, the MidWinter ALA and its accompanying Newbery, Caldecott and other awards, presented in January. While publishing for the adult market has its rewards and sense of community, children’s publishing has an infectious enthusiasm and sense of mission that is made manifest at ALA.
For four of its last five years, the Launch Kids conference has taken place in January—once on the actual day of ALA’s “Book Media Awards,” as they are collectively called. As 2016 marks the fifth year of the Launch Kids conference (now held on March 7th), we thought we would take the opportunity to look back—and forward—at changes in children’s books and media.
As many have noted, the digital world that we might have anticipated when we started these conferences in 2012 has not evolved much, at least for children’s books.
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Here Comes the Big Bad Data: Practical Data Uses for Publishers (DBW)
When many people think about book publishing, they often conjure a romantic image of editors sitting in a room all day—reading, choosing the stories they love and writing handwritten notes in the margins of a manuscript. Those of us who actually work in the realm of publishing, however, understand that a publishing house is a machine, full not only of editors, but also those in slightly less romantic departments, like sales and marketing, accounting, IT, production and many more.
The Self-Publisher’s Guide to Marketing Author Blogs (PW)
It’s great to see authors start blogs to help them build robust author platforms. Authors can write articles, create attractive sites, and post all their book and publicity information in one place. But too often this strategy just doesn’t work, because if you want people to visit your blog, you’re going to have to market your blog. That’s not as daunting as it might sound. It just means sharing your stories and ideas with people who have the same passions.
How One Bestselling Indie Author Became a Book Box Entrepreneur (PW)
Like hundreds of other indie authors who have found success, Colleen Hoover has a number of New York Times bestsellers, a deal with a traditional publisher, and a strong social media following. Her latest romance, November 9 (Atria), about a troubled couple that agrees to meet up at a designated spot for just one day per year, was a top-100 digital bestseller on Amazon. In addition to all that, Hoover has parlayed her success as an author into a new business: the Bookworm Box subscription service.
Innovative Korean Technology at Digital Book World 2016 (DBW)
While many US publishers know Korea as a vibrant market for translations, it is also home to a growing number of innovative technology companies serving the publishing community—particularly in the areas of children’s books and educational titles. At the 2016 Digital Book World Conference + Expo, you will have the opportunity to meet with four leaders in Korean publishing technology.
Digitization First: Russia’s Moscow and St. Petersburg Libraries (Pub Perspectives)
The Russian government has embarked on a plan to merge the collections of the St. Petersburg and Moscow State Libraries, the nation’s largest libraries, with the aim of creating one of the largest library collections in Europe. The plan includes the appointment of Alexander Visly, head of the Moscow library to direct the St. Petersburg library, the latter being the oldest in the country. According to Visly, preparations for the merger of the libraries are underway, focused first on an integration of the two libraries’ digital libraries.
Havana Book Fair: New Chapters in Warming Relations (Pub Perspectives)
American and international publishers attended the 2016 Havana Book Fair in hopes of finding new business opportunities in an economically friendlier Cuba.
Toy Fair Exhibitors Hope to Stretch Their Brands Beyond Books (PW)
Most publishers and authors used their booth presence at the 113th North American International Toy Fair (February 13th–16th in New York City) to sell books—along with sidelines such as craft kits, gifts and plush—to toy stores and other special markets. But a growing number also used the show to tout some of their proprietary brands to manufacturers walking the aisles, in the hopes of ultimately signing licensing agreements.