Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Hidden Success and Power

Just an editorial and a thought that came to mind today.

According to
Publishing Trend (August 2000) ''It's taken the unbelievable success of Harry Potter for people to look again at children's books,'' says Susan Katz, president and publisher of the children's division at HarperCollins. ''These books were for a long time one of the best-kept secrets in publishing. They can be very profitable and the backlist sales are phenomenal.'' A big bestseller like Margaret Wise Brown's Goodnight Moon, for instance, has been selling more than half a million copies each year, and those sales are increasing.

Yet even when children's books do well, they don't get a lot of ink. Louis Sachar's award-winning Holes, which has sold a list-worthy 460,000 copies for Farrar, Straus & Giroux, has caused at best a blip or two on the list at USA Today. ''The Times and other lists were alert to the fact that Holes was selling well,'' says Laurie Brown, vice president of marketing for FSG. ''But it just didn't seem to find a slot.''

No matter how popular they might be and how well they may sell, children's books enjoy far less prominence in the public eye than comparably selling adult books. ''Every year we have books that sell more copies than those that made the New York Times bestseller list,'' says Doug Whiteman, president of the Books for Young Readers division at Penguin Putnam.

So, why did I bring this information up after it was published five and half years ago? Because I still do not think Children's books, authors, and illustrators are still appreciated as they could or should be. Although more and more really good books are being published and several each year are making the jump to the big screen, the Adult literature is still leading in the "press".

Thanks for reading.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I fully agree.
Two books I still can't read to my grandchildren without tearing up are "Love You Forever" by Robert Munsch and "Guess How Much I Love You" by Sam Mc Bratney.
Great Aunt Ruthie

9:58 AM  

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