I attended the Summer 2015 Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrator’s Conference In Los Angeles without any set expectations except that it’s always a worthwhile experience and found it infused with an upbeat attitude this time around. I won’t try to give you any comprehensive report–there were official bloggers who reported on the conference, which members can find on the SCBWI.org website, along with the latest Market Report and other members’ comments.
Basically, however, the market report said that sales of children/YA books were up 21% for 2014, also up so far this year but not as much; apparently media tie in’s drove some of the sales last year. The demand for picture books is picking up, publishers open to short, character-driven or narrative-driven fiction, and also non-fiction especially about nature and the physical world. They also want non-fiction picture books, bios and others, that read like a story.
Middle grade: anything goes, the presenter said: quirky action, classic MG, adventure, mystery, elements of fantasy . Apparently 60% of kids read both digital and print. And YA is still the industry hot spot, although editors are very selective, and there is a lot of competition. Editors receive many submissions, and contemporary realism dominates published books. They are open to other genres, too, especially S-F and horror. But editors and agents are looking for good writers and illustrators.
I came home ready to write. : ) Hope you are, too.