#DBW15: #LaunchKids rolls out to the pad

Image - iStockphoto: nikonaft
Image – iStockphoto: nikonaft

A “take-up of digital books” that is “huge and growing”

By day’s end Tuesday, the audience for Digital Book World’s daylong Launch Kids Conference will emerge into New York City’s notably chilly evening breezes — a -3C is as warm as it’s to get today here — fortified by the surveyed details of surely the most extensively studied publishing sector in history.

Programmed by Publishers Launch Enterprises and Lorraine Shanley of Market Partners International, #LaunchKids — as we’ll be hashtagging it on Twitter — is one of the several events that precede Wednesday and Thursday’s Digital Book World Conference + Expo, itself. That one is #DBW15 in the tweeterie, and our Epiloggerfor it, at this writing, is moving past 1,500 tweets already.

All of this occurs under the auspices of David Nussbaum’s F+W Media, of course, and the DBW confab, itself, is in its sixth year, programmed by Mike Shatzkin working with Michael Cader of Publishers Lunch.

LaunchKidslogo-squareSince the Tools of Change conferences were discontinued almost two years ago, DBW has stood as New York’s key winter publishing industry conference — the first such major event after The Bookseller’s late-autumn FutureBook Conference and the largest such gathering ahead of London Book Fair’s 13th April Publishing for Digital Minds Conference, with IDPF’s Digital Book Conference the US-side anchor, May 27-28.

Certainly, the word from our Bookseller colleague Tom Tivnan has confirmed all the good news we’ve been hearing about the UK children’s book market sales.

In 2014’s Record year for children’s, Tivnan reports that children’s titles accounted for, essentially, a quarter of the print market in the UK:

For the first time since BookScan records began in 1998, nearly £1 in every £4 spent on print books (24%) was on a children’s title; the previous high in market share was 2013’s 21.7%.

In fact, London’s industry saw children’s sales, Tivnan reports, surpass adult fiction for the first time in 2014 — Nielsen BookScan’s Total Consumer Market puts the performance at a 9.1-percent jump over the previous year in children’s, while adult fiction saw a 5.3-percent decline.

And, as Digital Book World’s (DBW) Rich Bellis is reporting in eBooks Finding Their Place Among Young Readers latest indicators in the US suggest that digital publishing may be struggling less against a frosty reception at the kitchen table than originally lamented.

“Two recent studies of children’s and families’ reading habits,” Bellis writes, “suggest that while young readers may not be flocking to ebooks in droves, they are figuring out where digital content fits into their reading lives.”

From DBW research with PlayCollective going back to January 2013 comes hope for more digital adoption than some might have anticipated at this point. David Kleeman is with us at #LaunchKids on the topic at 9:25 a.m. ET / 2:25 p.m. GMT, and he writes for DBW:

We’ve found that while device popularity–e-readers, tablets, smartphones, computers–shifts from year to year, the overall take-up of digital books is huge and growing. 93% of kids 2–13 now e-read at least once a week.

Indeed, PlayCollective’s Kara Liebeskind writes in a conference supplement on the subject:

Despite parents’ personal inclinations toward print books, they do not believe that ebooks
are any more or less useful and valuable than print books. In fact, parents reported no
preference when asked which platform they felt was better for their children·s learning (27%
vs. 27%).

 Read More

By Porter Ander­son

The FutureBook: Digital Book World 2015 rolls out to the pad with #LaunchKids

Read the full post at: TheBookseller.com/futurebook


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