What About Digital Publishing And Children's Books?
New Media Day with the NESCBWI. The general feeling was that eBook publishing was coming in big time. We were told by a speaker in the morning that YA was the dominant child category in both self-publishing and eBooks because young kids were less likely to have e-readers and picture books can be more difficult to create digitally. I was part of an afternoon panel of authors who had republished out-of-print books. There was interest even though none of us were making much in the way of sales.
Children Aren't Reading eBooks. Middle-aged Women Are.
Evidently, there was a logical reason for what those of us who had republished our work ourselves as eBooks were experiencing. It wasn't just that children don't have e-readers and art work is hard to digitize. A study sponsored by Kobo, which publishes eBooks, "suggests that women represent 75% of the most active e-readers – defined as readers who spend at least 30 minutes a day using electronic books." What's more, a large percentage of those women are over 45. A 2015 UK study came up with similar findings.
In my personal experience, the young people I know (teens into thirties) read, but not eBooks. Middle aged women who are serious readers are the people I know who use e-readers. They want books fast, and they aren't interested in books as artifacts. Paper-and-ink books are just something to take care of.
What Does This Mean For Children's Authors?
It may be too soon to embrace eBooks for child readers. There just may not be child readers out there for eBooks now. I own the rights to four more of my books. I'm not rushing to republish them as eBooks.
Hey, doesn't this sound like a great time to remind my blog readers that Saving the Planet & Stuff will be free for Kindle users this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday? It will be a great opportunity for all you women readers of a certain age to get it. And if you're a Kindle user who is not a woman of a certain age, you're welcome to a copy, too.