meaning. Gareth Hinds’s adaptations of Homer and Shakespeare for Candlewick, and Raina Telgemeir’s Baby-Sitters
Club adaptations are both excellent, divergent examples.
Ever since I started studying children’s book consumers in
2010, I have watched the reported in;uence of children on
their parent’s consumer decision-making steadily rise. This
was not kids demanding what they wanted in a spoiled
way—this was parents communicating with their kids and
including them in decision-making as part of a new generation of family togetherness.
Now, as kids of all ages have instant access to the world’s
most powerful reference tools—including the content multi-verse of You Tube—it is only natural that their sense of curiosity would start to drive some very powerful patterns of
discovery, inspiring kids to become subject experts, content
creators, community educators, and do-it-yourselfers. In an
era when your 10-year-old can ;x the DVD player by watching You Tube and another child can start a 501(c)( 3) to raise
and release endangered butter;ies, what kinds of content can
we create to spark new areas of engagement and learning?
Maybe Audio Is the Future?
Finally, a quick word about the rebirth of one of our oldest
forms of storytelling. Audio is on the rise, and not just
because it is easier to download. New formats and platforms
like podcasting and access to affordable production and
editing tools are making audio one of the most interesting
areas of story innovation.
From serializations to modern radio dramas to non;ction
podcasts for any interest, audio is ;nding lots of new audiences, and, unlike e-books, these audio forms can hold their
own on smartphones. It’s not just about an audiobook adaptation any more.
It’s All Here in London
It seems to me that the key to being a successful content company today is to do the one thing publishers have always been
good at: telling amazing stories. So, as you wander the halls
at the 2017 London Book Fair and think about what’s next,
take a moment to also think back about the last 10 years. What
has surprised you the most? Can you name any predictions you
made that have come true, and any that haven’t? But, also
marvel at the fact that you are still here, making good content, and that your readers are still here, enjoying it. We really
are living in a most amazing age. ;
Kristen McLean is the executive director of new business at