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Top Ten Things You Need to Know
About Children's/YA Publishing in 2015

I created this list to supplement the "Top Ten Things You Need to Know about Children's/YA Publishing" presentation I made at the NJ SCBWI Conference on June 14, 2015. Additional resources can be found in the Resources section of my Idiot's Guide.


The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books, 3rd edition, by Harold Underdown (Alpha Books, 2008). Of course this is my book, but I can't help that: it's also a comprehensive guide to many aspects of children's publishing, including the stages in the publishing process, recent history of the business, and an overview of types of books and publishers.

Minders of Make-Believe: Idealists, Entrepreneurs, and the Shaping of American Children's Literature, Leonard Marcus, (Houghton Mifflin, 2008). The only available history of children's book publishing in the United States, and an excellent one at that. Marcus covers the business, the companies, the editors, and the books in a thoughtful narrative packed with interesting anecdotes.

Online Resources

Great overview by publishing guru Mike Shatzkin on "The publishing business as we know it won't go away any time soon"

An overview by Roger Sutton from 2012 on changes in the business in the past two decades: What Hath Harry Wrought?

Ursula K. LeGuin calls on writers "To Envision Alternatives to Capitalism"

Acquisitions Help the Biggest Publishers Get Bigger

Children's Books: A Shifting Market (2013 sales)

Children's Sales Soared in 2014

Independent bookstores growing in 2014-15

Nielsen survey of ebook buying, ebook device owning

4 Ways to Publish or Self-Publish--and a flowchart to help you choose

A self-publishing provider (predator?) and a traditional publisher: Author Solutions and Random Penguin

Shevi Arnold on why she chose to self-publish ebooks

An overview of crowdfunding in publishing: Crowdfunded Publishing

Kickstarting a Books Revolution: The Literary Crowdfunding Boom (with 10 examples, including a few from children's books)

A short history: We Need Diverse Books (WNDB)

WNDB Annual Report for 2014

Ten Tips on Writing Race in Novels, by Mitali Perkins:

The Rise in Latino Children's Literature: a 2015 Accounting, by Betsy Bird

Books for Boys and Books for Girls: Problems with Gendered Reading

Roger Sutton digs up some numbers on the gender of protagonists in YAs and MGs

From Shannon Hale, based on a recent experience: No Boys Allowed: School Visits as a Woman Writer

Sexy Retellings, Alternative History, and Road Trip Novels: What's Hot in YA--from SLJ, for spring 2015

State of the YA market in 2015

Some digging I did into the YA book "boom" and how numbers get inflated: "YA Books Are Booming but not That Much"

The Best Is Yet to Come: an Early 2015 Picture Book Preview

The Golden Age of Picture Books

How Diverse Are Comics and Graphic Novels?

SLJ's Top Graphic Novels of 2014

Do Traditional Publishers Market Their Books?

Social Networking: What a Children's Publisher Expects: An article I wrote in early 2010, still relevant.

BookExpo America 2015 overview: "A Lively BEA"

Publishing can still surprise us: "Coloring Books for Grown Ups"

Working in Children's Books and the Recession of 2008-09: I wrote this in the first half of 2009--how things looked as we headed into the recession.

Children's Books in Hard Times: Our Industry in 2011

Articles about children's book publishing at The Purple Crayon

I hope you have found this page and this site useful. Please visit The Purple Crayon Bookstores page to find some recommended bookstores. Thank you.

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