Nielsen BookScan reported that sales of juvenile books were the strongest of any category in 2008, rising 6 percent from 2007. In 2009, Nielsen reported, sales held mostly even. By contrast, last year adult hardcover and mass market paperbacks both declined nearly 4 percent, and trade paperbacks fell 2 percent - Washington Post
I never like such encompassing titles of articles as The Future of Children's Books. Its sounds so penultimate, as if the writer had a crystal ball and was making definite predictions. But, the Washington Post, with the aforementioned title, does have some interesting revelations about combing technology and literature.
The fact that Jeff Kinney worked full-time for a decade designing popular kid-friendly Web games before writing his best-selling series, DIARY OF A WIMPY KID, originally published online, was a revelation. The online, free online version regularly gets 70,000 hits a day. What this thankfull illustrates that teens and tweens on the internet, with access to content online, will still go out and buy his book. 28 million copes of DIARY OF A WIMPY KID are in print in the United States, according publisher Abrams.
So Publisher are now playing an expensive balancing game, getting kids to read books by offering companion Web sites that are graphic-rich and able to plunge young readers into the story. Along with the tale on the page, kids can dip into online videos and games, win prizes, create Internet identities and get into social networking.
Several publishers are getting into the fray Scholastic launched a 10-book international mystery series called THE 39 CLUES in the fall of 2008. Much of the action takes place online, however, where kids amass hundreds of collectible cards and compete for prizes. According to Scholastic, they have 760,000 registered users. Disney recently started an online book subscription Web site, Disney Digital Book, with hundreds of titles available, in hopes it will cast a spell over kids and their parents. You use a "magic pen" to turn each digital page. Last fall, HarperCollins published a missing-girl mystery, THE AMANDA PROJECT with a major online social networking component. And Simon & Schuster is getting into the game this June with its multimedia venture SPACEHEADZ Written by Jon Scieszka, author of THE STINKY CHEESE MAN.
The question remains whether all these multimedia add-ons to the reading experience will pay off... we shall see.