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Resources to Learn More about What's Going on in Children's/YA Publishing in 2016

This list supplements presentations I have been making at SCBWI conferences in 2015 and 2016; however, I think it stands on its own. Most of the articles linked to are from the last two years, but I go farther back when needed. Additional resources can be found in the Resources section of my Idiot's Guide.

Books

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 happens to be a comprehensive guide to many aspects of children's publishing, including the stages in the publishing process, recent history of the business and how it works, 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 anytime soon"

And a followup from this year: Publishers are as strong as ever

A different perspective from Jane Friedman: Publishing Industry 2016: A Status Update

An overview by Roger Sutton from 2012 on changes in the business in the past two decades: What Hath Harry Wrought?: This is a good addendum to Minders of Make-Believe, which ends with Harry Potter.

Publishers Weekly Children's Announcements Issue: published twice a year, the announcements issue always includes complete lists of new books from publishers and a number of articles on the market.

A Selection of News from the Past Few Years

Children's Sales Soared in 2014

Facts and Figures for 2015--includes children's and YA bestsellers

Nielsen Summit Shows the Data Behind the Children's Book Boom

Dominique Raccah [of Sourcebooks]: The Surprise Transformation in Our Industry: the persistence and growth of children's/YA print books

Independent bookstores growing in 2014-15

Report on bookstore sales for summer 2016: Good sales at independent bookstores

Publishing can still surprise us: "Coloring Books for Grown Ups": These turned out to be huge sellers for publishers in 2015.

Ebooks

Nielsen survey of ebook buying, ebook device owning

The Plot Twist: Ebook Sales Slip, and Print Is Far from Dead

Self- or Indie Publishing

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

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)
Also: How Kickstarter Became One of the Biggest Powers in Publishing Crowdfunding

Do Traditional Publishers Market Their Books?: A response to the common claim in indie publishing circles that authors have to do all the marketing anyway.

We Need Diverse Books

A short history: We Need Diverse Books (WNDB)

Download page for WNDB Annual Report for 2015

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

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

Marlon James: Why I Am Done Talking about Diversity

Girls and Boys

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

Social Media

When (or Why) Social Media Fails to Sell Books: From more than 5 years go, but the principles remain oh-so-true today.

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

Why 150 [Twitter] Followers Is All You Really Need

Jane Friedman: Why There Is so Much Conflicting Advice about Social Media

Jane Friedman: Why You Should Join All Social Media Networks

Ten Things Authors Need to Stop Doing on Social Media Immediately

Trends/What's Hot

Bologna 2016: Agents Talk Children's and YA Trends

CBC Panel Reviews 2015 Children's Book Sales--what children are buying/reading in bookstores, libraries, schools

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"

Middle-Grade Novels HAVE Gotten Longer--some of this could be book design, but word counts are definitely up.

The Wildest Children's Books of 2015: Travis Jonkers' take on a lively year.

How Diverse Are Comics and Graphic Novels?

SLJ's Top Graphic Novels of 2015

Past Articles I've Done on Business Trends

Trends in Children's Books: Children's Book Publishing in the 1990's

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

More 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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