Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Scholastic Names Trends in Children's Books for 2010

The folks over at Publisher's Marketplace have a free, daily newsletter that chronicles happenings in the publishing industry called Publisher's Lunch.  (Sign up is on their website, along with a link to their expanded, pay version of the newsletter)

Publisher's Lunch has little to do with writing, per se, but everything to do with selling, agent and editor moves trends in bookstores and formats.  Since we have to wear many hats to be a successful writer, subscribing and reading the daily email is something I recommend.

Today's Lunch had an interesting bit from Scholastic, listing the publisher's Trends for Children's Books for this past year.  Here's what Publisher's Lunch had to say:


Drawing on their experience distributing books from all children's publishers through their school book clubs and book fairs, Scholastic's editors created a list of  ten trends from the year in children's books. President of Scholastic Book Clubs Judy Newman remarks in the release, "We've seen some exciting innovation in children's publishing in 2010, including new formats and platforms for storytelling that are helping more and more kids become book lovers. At the same time, we're seeing a rejuvenation of some classic genres, which I think is evidence of the timeless power that stories and characters have on the lives of children."

1. The expanding Young Adult audience
2. The year of dystopian fiction
3. Mythology-based fantasy (Percy Jackson followed by series like The Kane Chronicles, Lost Heroes of Olympus and Goddess Girls)
4. Multimedia series (The 39 Clues, Skeleton Creek, The Search for WondLa)
5. A focus on popular characters - from all media
6. The shift to 25 to 30 percent fewer new picture books, with characters like Pinkalicious, Splat Cat and Brown Bear, Brown Bear showing up in Beginning Reader books
7. The return to humor
8. The rise of the diary and journal format (The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Dear Dumb Diary, Dork Diaries, The Popularity Papers, and Big Nate)
9. Special-needs protagonists
10. Paranormal romance beyond vampires (Linger and Linger, Beautiful Creatures, Immortal, and Prophesy of the Sisters)


I suppose this could mean your YA dystopian, mulitmedia, mythology-based book featuring a special-needs paranormal main character is going to be considered So Last Year in just a few weeks.

Personally, though, I'm glad to see "The return to humor" since my WIP is supposed to be funny.

What are your thoughts on this list?  Any surprises?  Anything you feel was left out?

-- Tom