Inspiration, Innovation & Information for school libraries and learning.
There’s no doubt about it – ebooks are claiming an ever-increasing market share in the world of publishing. A recent poll showed that at least one in six Americans now uses an ereader, and this number will increase.
But while this growth is easy to track, and digital publishing is booming, there’s also confusion as to how this will impact all those involved in the realm of publishing – the editors, agents and writers.
This article from the Jewish Daily Forward, published 3 January 2012, suggests we look not so much at the big players – Amazon, Google and Apple – but at the smaller businesses who are adopting a variety of innovative approaches to selecting, curating and marketing eBooks.
The rise of self-publishing is now placing “even more responsibility for editing, marketing and distribution…on the shoulders of writers.”
But for now, this article suggests we are in a period where readers will benefit from the wide range of options out there – print books as well as e-books.
“There is much hand-wringing that digital publishing will mean the death of print, and maybe it eventually will. But it’s also been the catalyst of creativity, thus preventing, for another generation, the death of literacy.”
Ever wondered what the chances are of having that picture book you've thought about writing and illustrating being published? Or have you mused about what journey the latest fiction book you purchased underwent to reach your school library's shelves?
Aspiring writers, librarians, and teachers joined established authors to hear what does it take to get published at the recent Publishing with Passion seminar held at Tauranga Intermediate School. A fascinating peek behind the scenes into the world of New Zealand children's literature was shared by author Susan Brocker, publisher HarperCollins NZ, and literary agent Barbara Else.
Kate Stone from Harper Collins outlined trends in publishing, the editorial decisions behind whether to publish a title, including the author's potential to have more than one book, and the checks a book goes through, including test runs with children and teenagers. About 22-25% of book sales in NZ are for children's literature. HarperCollins NZ publishes 10-15 children's literature titles annually, of which around 1-2 are picture books and the rest divided between junior fiction and young adult titles.
All HarperCollins books printed over the last five years have been set up to be potentially published as e-books. Tauranga author Susan Brocker described how her passions in life - history and animals, especially horses and dogs - have translated into her writing more than 50 non-fiction and fiction books for the US and NZ markets; eg Across the Oregon Trail, Brave Bess and the ANZAC horses (Storylines Notable Young Adults Non-Fiction Book 2011), and Saving Sam (Storylines Notable Young Adults Fiction Book 2010).
Susan’s writing tips and her life-story as an avid reader and writer since she was a child would be inspirational for budding student writers. Her novel Restless Spirit set in Waiouru and based on the fight to save the wild Kaimanawa horses had its beginnings during her childhood years. When not able to have a pony, Susan wrote real-life adventure stories about having a pony. Her first novel about a white stallion - written when she was nine years old then copied and given out to students by school staff, morphed in later years into the Restless Spirit. For Susan, a key ingredient for successful storytelling is having a passion about the topic. When you write what you feel passionate about, your story will sing to the child within.
For further information on writing tips and the respective roles of a publisher, a literary agent and a manuscript editor, as outlined by Barbara Else, see the Bookrapt site.
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