#FutureChat Recap: Digital publishing and children

#FutureChat Recap: Digital publishing and children

Join us each Friday for a #FutureChat live Twitter discussion on issues of publishing and innovation: 4 p.m. London time, 11 a.m. New York time, 8 a.m. Los Angeles, 5 p.m. Berlin, 3 p.m. GMT. With The Bookseller Children's Conference ahead -- #kidsconf14, as it's hashtagged, is on 25th September at Southbank Centre in #London -- we were glad to have a chance in Friday's #FutureChat to look at some of the questions around digital publishing and the children's market. The Bookseller's children's editor Charlotte Eyre set up up our conversation here at The FutureBook, with a round-robin of input from specialists in the business, several of whom will be speaking at the conference. Some of these folks also dropped in during #FutureChat, which tended toward the perplexing question of apps in children's publishing. By coincidence, a demonstration just today of high interest in the issue: GigaOM news director Laura Hazard Owen has a piece, How to read to your kid in a digital age. mIt's a book review of our good GalleyCat colleague Jason Boog's new book, Born Reading (out from Simon & Schuster/Touchstone in both the US and UK markets). And it's a subject touched on today by Beth Bacon at the Digital Book World site's outside bloggers' section. Bacon's post is on reading and writing skills approached through two apps from Kumon Publishing. Our #FutureChat prompts were picked up Friday most readily by David Neal, who wanted to counter some of the negative thinking around apps today. Are apps simply not apt for youngsters? From Ontario, we were joined by Carla Douglas: More from Canada: And back in London, Dave McLeod at Reedsy: And, if anything, it sounded as if there's a real eagerness to think about getting away from standalone apps overall: Neal, despite coming to the work in computer science has found that marketing children's reading apps is daunting: This is when we heard the question of parents' and young readers' perceptions of apps arise: The UK-based publisher of apps and other materials for younger people, Gazoob, was with us: In relation to the phenomenon seen both in the UK and US of adults reading heavily in the YA sectors of books, one of the companies from Eyre's story, Hot Key Books, spoke up, the company's Sarah Odedina having spoken to Eyre about "strong sales in teen ebooks:" From writer Camille LaGuire in Michigan, who reminded us of Amanda Hocking, remember her? Leaving children to their (or your) own devices? There's a recognizably valid set of questions around almost all issues of children's digital publishing based in what sort of devices can and should be brought into play -- at what cost? at what risk to their safety (and/or the kids')? Wiley's digital book standards and capabilities lead, Tzviya Siegman, joined us: Douglas had sounded a perfectly logical alarm (at least "perfectly logical" to those of us who don't have children and pride ourselves on relatively well-kept devices): Which prompted #PorterMeets alum and Hot Key's digital-community ace Sara O'Connor in London to join us: Here was something we don't always hear as clearly as I wish we did: a publishing-industry professional who is -- pertinent to this issue -- a parent and expert in young readers' needs, able to render a seriously well-informed opinion from a stance that is unquestionably pro-publishing: Hot Key editor Jenny Jacoby in London seconded O'Connor's compliments: And aha! The much-awarded, app-happy Nosy Crow had been lurking! The Crow's Tom Bonnick is to rely on Nosy Crow's relative success in the app space to talk about the role of apps in today's publishing market. Shannon Cate was along, as well, to log in her vote for Rainbow Reading, the program spearheaded by actor LeVar Burton for young readers. Also with us: Rich Rennicks from "Asheville, North Carolina, or Ireland": Do apps in children's reading actually make books "lesser"? Katharine Reeve had joined us from Bath to talk about positioning, as a matter of fact: And also with us here was Sean Moss of Walker Books -- interviewed by Eyre in her #FutureChat walk-up and scheduled to appear on a Children's Conference panel on social media:
And what convo about children's reading would be complete without...? Yes, the education issue had arisen -- and rightly so, mind you. However you may feel about the quality of education and the job it's doing (or not) of making reading the important part of students' lives many of us think it should be, until we all can get some consensus on what's to be done in this arena, children's publishing remains hamstrung by a foundation of questionable social support: And with that, I had to break away to do live coverage of a conference in Los Angeles. But you can review further exchanges that followed on the #FutureChat hashtag -- and don't hesitate to drop new and ongoing thoughts there, too, always glad to have you in TheFutureBook.net digital publishing community. Many thanks to all who participated! See you Friday for another #FutureChat.
Join us each Friday for a #FutureChat live Twitter discussion on issues of publishing and innovation: 4 p.m. London time, 11 a.m. New York time, 8 a.m. Los Angeles, 5 p.m. Berlin, 3 p.m. GMT. Main image - Shutterstock: Tyler Olson