Deborah Halverson is the award-winning author of Writing New Adult Fiction and Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies as well as teen novels Big Mouth and Honk if You Hate Me, the picture book Letters to Santa, and three books in the Remix series for struggling readers. Formerly an editor at Harcourt Children's Books and now a freelancer specializing in Young Adult/Middle Grade fiction.
Children's book revenues have stayed relatively the same from last year to this year. YA has declined slightly. Nonfiction sales rose greatly. Note: Adult coloring books were included in that category. Board books, paper backs, picture books all saw a rise in sales. E-books stayed steady but print books were on the rise. People are consumers of both print and digital. Audio books have livened and revenues increased, and more titles were produced.
The number of indie bookstores increased by 60 new stores last year.
Opportunities in this market place:
If you are a member of SCBWI you have access to the THE BOOK. It has up-to-date information on publishers and submissions.
The picture book performance is vigorous, so there is healthy acquisition but high competition. Creativity is being rewarded in the market place.
The opportunity with chapter books lies with getting in with a publisher to write a chapter book series. This is a challenging area.
Graphic novels within middle grade is an area that's getting a lot of attention right now. It's been rising steadily.
Middle grade fiction is a great place to be. Editors are asking agents for it. Broad opportunities here.
There's a lot of YA out there right now. It's very saturated, especially in contemporary realism.
Consistent feeling that children's publishing is a good place.