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Looking Glass To Spyglass - childrens book publishing

From looking glass to spyglass
A review of children's literature suggesting key areas for development and inviting responses.
ISBN: 0-7287-0986-4
Cost: 0.00
Pages: 44
Published: Oct 2003

Dec 2 Action Plan - 14 pages

The Action Plan is much shorter. I'd dip in there first and then go to the Consultation to see where it's coming from.

Both address an overall decline in children's book sales and borrowing. The consultation is well researched. In the view of this writer, David Fine, the Action Plan is commendable in that it suggests measures which will help retain a traditional audience.

However it does not quite address how to reach those readers, young and old, who've already been lost, or may never be found. In marketing terms the book industry is faced with two problems here a) how to retain a traditional market, and b) how to bring back a market gone elsewhere. Different strategies are required for each, and for those who are lost, the action plan is lacking, and lacks some imagination.

For example, as book sales have declined, games station sales have rocketed. (The Bookish Lit-Net Junior has one on his list shoved up the c-drive for Santa) Why not mixed market books and playstations - a free book for each three games sold, or ten children's books from the library entitles you to game loan. While one kid plays on the game, the others must do something else. Read?

If you've any ideas how to buck the trend in declining book sales and loans of children's literature, e-mail and we'll publish and pass them on.

Incidentally, the Action Plan is titled A Strategy for Children's Literature. It isn't about children's writing, only writing for children. If a strategy does not include what they write why should it expect them to read?
© 2001; Arts Council England
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