….iPAD !!! OK, I got it because it’s time to. 2012 is THE year. I will put my artists’ portfolios on it in the next couple of months so my next visit to NYC (and elsewhere) will be ‘lighter’…and more ‘with it.’ 🙂 I’m enjoying playing with it now….getting comfortable. This isn’t as natural for me as it is for my grown kids, or even their kids!
I will still carry dummies and some printed samples. Clients LIKE to flip through pages of illustrations and words…just like kids do. How about that! Sales of books might be down but they ARE selling and still being loved by those of us who WANT to hold paper books. The holidays were a big time for book sales this year. B&N reported that overall sales then were up 4% and that’s the FIRST TIME this has happened in 5 years. That is good news. Now, Nook sales rose too…43%, and digital content by itself more than 113%. You’d expect that with new devices and pricing etc. The overall 2011 year book sales did decline 9.5% (Nielson’s Bookscan)…. 66.3 million units lower than 2010 total. Kids books were down 5%. It’s a mixed message to understand, that’s for sure.
So lets look at what we can do as artists and writers to get more and better books published. Lets avoid some mistakes first off. Don’t get too focused on technology rather than the more important biz and artistic needs. Try to avoid being too REactive rather than PROactive. (do what YOU do best and get ‘it’ out there!) Fight being too rigid about what’s ‘always been done.’ It’s a new world out there, and we have to stay flexible.
Now, things to ask yourself as you paint and write: Who is your audience? what specific age, and interests are you appealing to? (remember it is parents who buy the books ….) Are your characters engaging, and will readers CARE about them, remember them and want MORE of them? Is everything developmentally appropriate? Does your style set you apart from other artists and writers? Remember it’s all about THE STORY…is there a good memorable one? Will it have ‘the WOW factor?’ Is it a story kids will come back to over and over….I hear that need/want from publishers over and over! One joke books and ‘one offs’ aren’t what the market is looking for just now.
It’s still a slow tough market for picture books, but lots are being sold and published as you probably noticed when you went to the bookstore this holiday season! Keep focused and active and passionate about what you do. That will be noticed! So what new ideas have YOU GOT? taken Christmas Day 2011 from hightest point in Brooklyn by CATugeau