Booksellers and publishers involved in the children’s book world will want to catch a pair of new BEA educational sessions assessing paths that the industry will follow in the future. Pulling together publishing professionals from various walks are panels centering on evolving YA marketing strategies and the children’s digital marketplace. Here’s a look at where to be and when—and what to expect.
Beyond the Hunger Games: Young Adult Book Marketing and Public Relations Strategies will take place this morning, 11–11:50 a.m., in Room 1E09. The program will be moderated by Susannah Greenberg, president of Susannah Greenberg Public Relations. Speakers are Becky Anderson, co-owner of Anderson’s Bookshops; Derry Wilkens, publicity manager of Sourcebooks Jabberwocky and Sourcebooks Fire; Michelle Renaud, Harlequin’s senior public relations manager; and Michelle F. Bayuk, director of marketing for Albert Whitman & Company.
The panelists will draw from their own experiences as they discuss proven and new methods of reaching the YA demographic, including creating publisher-bookseller relations, making author-reader connections, reaching librarians and educators, and taking advantage of such tools as writing competitions, book groups, book giveaways, blogs, video blogs, and social media. Questions from the audience will be encouraged.
“The incredible success of the Hunger Games books exemplifies how YA marketing and publicity have shifted into a new realm, reaching a much bigger readership than ever before,” comments Greenberg. “Publishers are using very innovative, advanced tactics to get the word out about YA books. They are finding new ways to explore online marketing because that is obviously where this generation of readers lives.”
Greenberg, who lined up the panel for this program, notes that the range of panelists’ experience will make for a lively discussion. “Each panelist represents a different aspect of the business, and together they will provide good information about making full use of the media to reach a wide audience, especially at a time when top media is increasingly covering YA, and the adult crossover readership is growing.”
The Future of Children’s Books: E-books, Apps and New Models That Will Revolutionize Lives will be held this afternoon, 3–3:50 p.m., in Room 1E14/1E15. Dominique Raccah, CEO and publisher of Sourcebooks, will moderate a panel that will consist of Kevin O’Connor, Barnes & Noble’s director of children’s content, acquisitions, and business development of digital products; Claudia Mazzucco, CEO of Atlantyca Entertainment; Deborah Forte, president of Scholastic Media and senior v-p, Scholastic, Inc.; and Betsy Loredo, executive editor, Sesame Workshop.
These professionals will weigh in on such topics as how best to tackle the challenges and opportunities of digital content for children, changes that are occurring in retailing digital children’s books, and how the growth of tablets and smartphones will affect the future of children’s books.
“Clearly, we’re beginning to see a transformation in the digital space occurring for kids’ books,” observes Raccah, who organized the program. “The number of e-books is definitely up, though YA books are moving faster in this area than books for younger readers. Still, there is a lot of motion in new areas, and that’s what we want to talk about.”
The panelists, she notes, bring a range of experience and viewpoints to the table. “B&N is in a leadership position in children’s e-books, Atlantyca is a leader in transmedia, Scholastic has Storia and is both a publisher and a platform, and has a well-developed educational arm, and Sesame Workshop is very involved with groundbreaking app development as well as new platforms,” she remarks. “I intentionally went quite broad with this panel, and I’m very excited about it. I wanted to bring together people who are deeply immersed and very knowledgeable. This is a good panel to focus on what might be coming down the pike in the near future.”