The Guardian is bringing its children’s books website to an end next month because of financial constraints.
In a statement, the newspaper said: “As part of our three-year business plan, which includes restructuring some areas of the business, from 8th July 2016 the Guardian will be folding its children's books coverage into the main books section of the website. Previously-published children's books content, including reviews written by our young community members, will continue to be available on theguardian.com.”
The Bookseller understands it is uncertain if there will be redundancies in the children's book team. The Guardian is undergoing a redundancy programme across the company. However, it is thought no redundancies will be compulsory.
A goodbye article on the children’s page said: “It’s not over. The Guardian is still championing children’s books, just in a different way.”
“The Guardian main books site will continue to cover children’s and teen books, and will keep on many of the best-loved regular features from the site," it said. "However, instead of being aimed at children, we’ll be aiming our coverage at adults (and this includes young adults), which will allow us to go in new directions. We’ll be able to run comments beneath stories, for example, so that means more recommendations and dialogue about children’s books.”
The newspaper is also planning a children’s books festival in October 2016 and will next month launch the young critics competition, which will run along side the Guardian children’s fiction prize.
SF Said, author and founder and the #CoverKidsBooks campaign, said the Guardian children's books site has been "world class". He is pleased children's books will still feature on the main books site, because "children's literature today is relevant to anyone who cares about literature at all", but that it is not an "either/or" situation. "I'm glad children's books will be part of the mainstream coverage but it regrettably comes at the expense of the children's site."
He also said he is concerned with the Guardian's print coverage of children's books. "Three weeks ago they introduced a feature int he print newspaper all about children's books but for the last two weeks there has been nothing about kids books at all. I'd like to know what is going on with that."
In April, the newspaper announced it was closing the Guardian First Book Prize after 17 years also citing a cost-cutting operation at the newspaper as to blame.
Guardian News & Media is cutting running costs by 20%, which is just over £50m.