In her 20 years as a bookseller, she's hosted hundreds of author events and is also an expert in developing leveled libraries for use in classrooms. She talked to us about the market today and emerging opportunities for authors, particularly with the introduction of Common Core standards.
On the market: Things have changed a lot for bookstores over the years: "We've seen our walk-in, retail business change a little bit," she said. "Now, about 70 percent of our business is school and library." Sales are good, especially in the school and library market. They're less likely to be hit-driven, buying hundreds of titles across the board. "There are a lot of opportunities out there."
On common core standards: Schools are just now starting to get into it. "All of you need to become familiar with these standards." Illustrations, glossaries, and nonfiction elements can all help your book align with these standards. (Learn more about them here.)
What schools are buying: Schools buy mostly in paperback for classrooms, which helps mid-list authors and with back-list sales.
Mary also talked about trends that schools are hungry for in response to the Common Core and what the market wants less of, as well as some specific books that are doing really well in this new environment.
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