Who’s Reading You? Juvie LitTrends

According to an article in Writer’s Digest, the biggest sales increase of 2012 was for juvenile lit.

That’s right, juvie lit writers, our audience is buying books. In fact, The Association of American Publishers tracked a huge jump in digital book sales for children and teens. To the tune of 475.1%.

This is something I’ve seen first hand while presenting in the classroom. A large portion of kids have e-readers available at home. Many are exposed to them in school. Still others are provided with personal e-readers by the school for the duration of their education. Granted, they are part of the bigger picture for learning in this technological world, yet it does translate into greater access of e-books for kids.

Note to self: e-MG and e-YA is A-OK.

And while the debate continues on the effectiveness of blogs and tweets as a viable marketing tool, one thing is certain: kids use facebook and twitter to connect and share. If we write great books and build a rapport with our young readers, they will joyfully spread the word, making juvenile lit the perfect age group to target with technology.

But let’s take this marketing idea one step further. Who is buying the 80.5% more juvenile lit books sold in 2012 compared to those bought in 2011? I can’t be 100% sure, but I suspect a large number of buyers come from the school itself. To learn more about the Market Within, hop on over to From the Write Angle for a look at what that potential buying power looks like.

But before you go, consider one more thing. Gift cards are handed out at birthday parties, in Christmas stockings and as graduation gifts more readily than politicians pass out handshakes. This instant access creates greater buying power in youth. All they need to download their favorite song, game or book is a gift card and a computer/e-reader/handheld gaming device. For the young bibliophile, it’s akin to books-on-demand. No longer do they need to make that special trip to the brick and mortar on Mom and Pop’s time. No longer does Grandma have to buy “safe” books that kids don’t want to read. No way. Because thanks to the gift card trend, kids can–and do–buy the books they hear about during lunch as soon as they get home. They are firmly in the driver’s seat of their reading tastes.

Does this mean we should all start writing for kids? Heck no. I would be sad if we did. However, it does mean that the market for this age group is flexible and strong. Good products can equal good sales for the savvy writer.

How does the convergence of technology and youth impact your writing/marketing plan? Have you ever considered e-MG before, or are you still reluctant to try digital only for youth? How does a traditionally lower e-price affect the sales potential of books for kids?

Curious minds want to know.

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