When was the last time you heard those words associated with children’s publishing?
Sure, you’re skeptical. But I heard those encouraging words with my own ears at the SCBWI national conference in New York just a few days ago. A panel of booksellers, including representatives from some wee little companies you “may” have heard of—Scholastic and Amazon—were asked to share their diagnosis of the current health and well-being of children’s publishing.
Jon Fine of Amazon described ours as a “time of great opportunity.” As books become more accessible through a variety of platforms, he thinks the market is “incredibly strong and getting stronger.”
Scholastic Book Fairs National Sales and Program Manager Bob Brown said he is “very upbeat about what’s happening with children’s publishing.”
Mary Brown, owner of Books, Bytes & Beyond, a children’s specialty bookstore located just outside New York City, described the school and library book markets as “very healthy.”
Lin Oliver, Executive Director of SCBWI, observed that we weren’t hearing comments like these five years ago. It seemed like we’d all turned into Chicken Littles clucking, “The sky is falling.” Or maybe we just got chicken.
But now it appears that the sky is clearing. So, what does this good news mean for you and me?
We need to be upbeat, healthy and incredibly strong ourselves. It means we need to be nimble, flexible and adaptable so that we are ready to take advantage of the new opportunities coming our way.
There’s hope on the horizon. Let’s celebrate by writing and reading and creating!
When a great moment knocks on the door of your life, it is often no louder than the beating of your heart, and it is very easy to miss it. ― Boris Pasternak