Top 5 things we learnt from The Bookseller Children's Conference 2014

Top 5 things we learnt from The Bookseller Children's Conference 2014

The Bookseller Children's Conference is just round the corner. It will be a day of debate and insight, but first, here are five things we learnt from 2014 conference.

1. The children’s book market grew 10% in 2013
Sales of children’s books were up a massive 10% in 2013, as our former charts editor John Lewis revealed. He showed how consumers spent £187.9m on children’s books in the first eight months of 2014 (1st January–31st August 2014), up 10% on the same period in 2013.
2. Diversity matters

The lack of diversity in children’s publishing is still a problem, something Inclusive Minds tried to rectify by announcing their plans to launch “diversity charters” with ways of making books more inclusive.

3. Don’t ignore the metadata

Georgina Atwell of Toppsta pointed out that publishers must get their metadata right if they want readers to discover their books.

She said: “Why spend money on marketing if the reader can’t find your titles via Search? Who in your company who knows how readers are spelling and misspelling your author names and finding yourtitles? Pull a list of top searches and null search results from your own website and have a look.”

4. Print is popular with teenagers

Research presented by Luke Mitchell found that nearly three-quarters of teenagers actually prefer reading print books to e-books. According to a survey he conducted for the conference, 73% of teenagers prefer print over digital or audio formats.

Only 27% prefer e-books and 31% said they don’t buy e-books at all.

5. Debate rages over the importance of picture books versus apps

At the conference last year Nicolette Jones of the Sunday Times said she had “reservations” about picture book apps. “I’ve never seen a picture book-app that does something that a book doesn’t do better,” she said.

In response, Nosy Crow’s m.d. Kate Wilson argued apps do have a place in the children’s media landscape.

In a blog post, she said: “Apps are not books, and books are not apps. Successful making of story apps requires an understanding that apps are another country, and we should do things differently there.

The Bookseller Children's Conference will be held on 29th September 2015, with speakers including Nosy Crow's Kate Wilson, Egmont's Cally Poplak, and Igloo Book's John Styring. For more information and to book visit the website.