Children's Conference: 'Old-fashioned' publishing skills 'still relevant'

Children's Conference: 'Old-fashioned' publishing skills 'still relevant'

Old fashioned publishing skills are still "as relevant and vital as ever" in the children's market, even though children are increasingly discovering books through digital and new media brands, Egmont UK's m.d. Cally Poplak (pictured) has told The Bookseller Children's Conference.

Poplak said Egmont's strategy was driven by "what children love to read and what their parents are prepared to buy".

Research done by the publisher with Nielsen has also found that parents "really value reading".

"They see it as something genuinely special and a truly desirable alternative to screen time," she said.

However, Poplak added that parents are less focused on the literary canon and more on whatever gets their children reading.

Following its research, Egmont also found that of the 14m adults who buy children's books or magazines, 50% said other media and brands encouraged their children to read.

The children’s publisher also surveyed children and found that for those aged between 0 and 17, "the passion for the physical book has not diminished".

Poplak said: "Digital has impacted the world of publishing but not as I imagined it. 75% of children want their favourite stories and content in print form."

Egmont is the publisher of Minecraft, and Poplak said the brand was a great success story. "(That) the biggest children's digital game has translated into print astonishing,” she said.

She added: "Old fashioned publishing skills are as relevant and vital as ever. Outstanding editorial, curation, production, sales, design, that taps into what children are talking about what what parents want and what children want to collect and share their friends.

"These are the skills that turn children into proud readers."

The Bookseller Children’s Conference is taking place today at Milton Court, The Barbican, London today (29th September). Speakers include Kate Wilson, m/d of Nosy Crow, John Styring, c.e.o of Igloo Books and The Bookseller’s Charts and Data Analyst Keira O’Brien, among others.