Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

I've been publishing my kids' ebook bestseller lists for eight weeks, and the New Year provides a great time to look back over them. Instead of a "Year in Review" report, I can only provide an "Eight Weeks in Review" report, but it's still fun to see what books and authors stood out in the ebook format.

The Top Author Award goes to Stephenie Myer. She has shown up on my lists 97 times with five different books: Breaking Dawn, Eclipse, New Moon, Twilight and The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner.  #2 was Suzanne Collins at 91 times, followed by Rick Riordan at 55 times.

The Top Book Award goes to Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Myer.  Her book showed up in the #1 spot twelve times in the last eight weeks. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins took #1 ten times, followed by Mockingjay, also by Suzanne Collins, which was #1 eight times.

And finally, the Most Books Award goes to Rick Riordan, with a whopping seven titles showing up on my bestseller lists.  They are The Lightening Thief, The Last Olympian, The Battle of the Labyrinth, The Red Pyramid, The Sea of Monsters, The Lost Hero and The Titan's Curse.

So what's ahead for the Kids' Ebook Bestseller blog in 2011?  I will be reassessing the ebook stores I include in the list, dropping one or two and adding others, especially with the launch of Google's ebook store.  I also plan to contact some of the authors on my lists and include some interesting interviews about the ebook movement and how authors are feeling about it.  And as always, I'll be following the news to give you the latest on this trend and how it's affecting the children's fiction genre.

Thanks for following along! 2011 is sure to be an exciting year as more and more children's books are published as e-books!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Twas the Night Before Christmas. . .

It's Christmas Eve and Santa is loading his sleigh with iPads, Kindles and Nooks.

E-book stores have probably seen their most active week ever, with downloads for gifts or for holiday vacation reading.  On my bestseller list, Christmas books are falling. At Barnes and Noble, Polar Express went from #1 to #8 , Twas the Night Before Christmas went from #6 to #8, and The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is nowhere to be seen after being on my chart every week since November 13th. This will make more room for current authors to hit the top ten list at some of these stores. Check out this week's bestsellers in the top right corner.

As my Christmas gift to you, here are two entertaining videos that address the challenges of changing our reading format, moving from scroll to book  and back around from Nook to book. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The New York Times Best-Seller List

Last month, The New York Times finally announced they will begin to publish ebook fiction and nonfiction bestseller lists sometime in the first quarter of 2011.*  No word on an ebook list for children yet. 

At this point in time, ebook sales are not included in their bestseller lists at all, which I find surprising and disappointing. They site the complexity of collecting accurate data from the various e-stores as the primary hurdle, which I can understand. The article says they have been working for two years on this.

Right now the New York Times has 14 seperate bestseller lists.** They break out hard cover vs. paperback, paperback trade vs. paperback mass-market, several categories of non-fiction, several categories of children's books and so on.  This raises the question: Should e-book sales be reflected seperately from print book (p-book) sales? Food for thought.

*Read their announcement HERE.

**Check out the current New York Times Best-Seller List HERE.

For the next two weeks I'll be updating the bestseller list and blogging on Friday due to the holidays.
This week's list has some new arrivals, including James Patterson with his Witch & Wizard series.  And 'tis the season:  Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg shot to the number one spot on Barnes & Noble's Kids list.  Have a look!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Big Happenings . . . at home AND online!

This week’s post will be early and short, since there's big news both in my house and on the e-book front! 

Here at home, my daughter is graduating from college on Saturday morning.  So you may notice that the best seller list was compiled on Friday morning instead of Saturday.

And the BIG news for e-books: Announced Monday, Google has opened its own ebook store.*  With more than 3 million titles, they claim to have the largest collection surpassing any retailer, and their collection is said to be compatible with “just about all devices.”**  I'm looking forward to seeing what they have to offer for my Kindle.

Once they are up and running for a few weeks, I will incorporate them into my weekly bestseller list since they will obviously be a main player.

*Visit the new Google ebookstore.

**Read about it here.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Following the News on E-books for Kids

He’s making his list, checking it twice … and it looks like Santa will be delivering quite a few e-readers this Christmas. If you’ve been following the news feed on the left side of my blog, you’ve seen several articles claiming e-readers as the top techie toy of the gift giving season.

This week there have been two articles of particular interest to those of us following children’s e-books. 

First, Isabella Products announce the launch of a children’s tablet, called Fable. A tablet is more than an e-reader since it will also incorporate drawing, games, and broadband network access in addition to e-book capacity. The Fable is designed to be more durable than the average e-reader, taking into consideration “a child’s handling of the device and the external factors within various environments.” (I’m thinking crumbs, spilled drinks, and occasional submersion in the bathtub.)

Isabella Products is partnering with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and the Fable will come pre-loaded with “world famous children’s content” from HMH.

No Fables under the Christmas tree, however. The product will not be available until mid-2011.*

Our second story comes from Sesame Street. They’ve opened their own eBookstore which contains over 125 Sesame Street ebooks available in a variety of formats. Access to the store is on a subscription basis. The store is run and managed by Impelsys, a leader in providing electronic content delivery solutions. Their CEO, Sameer Shariff says, “We are confident that eBooks will be a big hit this holiday season with parents and kids enjoying time together reading!”**

Don’t forget to check out this week’s updated bestseller list at the top right corner of this page.

Friday, November 26, 2010

What's the Future for Picture Books?

As more and more books are being published as e-books, I’ve wondered how this will work out for picture books. I’m sure there are plenty of picture book authors and illustrators wondering the same thing. How will these illustrated books make the transition? We enjoy snuggling with our kids while reading books to them. Will it be the same reading from an e-reader?

Here's my husband reading to our two
 oldest children -- about 20 years ago! 
Would the picture look as cozy with
an e-reader?

With that in mind, I was delighted to demo the new color Nook at Barnes & Noble last weekend.  I’m not promoting the Nook over other e-readers, but since it’s now in color I was anxious to have a look at how it would work for children.

I was impressed, but I see pros and cons for picture books.  Color was the first hurdle for e-readers, and that’s obviously no longer an issue. The picture books on the Nook are bright and clear. The Nook, turned sideways, shows the full two-page spread and the touch technology allows you to sweep you fingers across the screen to turn the page, similar to the movement of turning a printed page.

An added feature is the interactive option. The reader can touch the screen and make something happen, such as make cereal pour into a bowl, or make a door open. Children can also choose the “Read to Me” option, listening to the audio version while the pages turn automatically.

The drawback was the screen size. Some picture books need to be bigger to show off a grand story or lush illustrations. Others are best presented in a shaped die-cut book, or a book laid out horizontally (“landscape” vs. “portrait”). Such options won’t be possible on e-readers, as all books will be presented in the same size format based on the screen size.

If you have a chance, stop in at Barnes & Noble and have a look for yourself. Let me know what you think. In the meantime, here's a link that shows all the Nook features for kids books. Be sure to click on the demos.

The e-book bestseller list has been updated, as it will be every Saturday. The link is at the top right corner -- check it out and see how your favorite authors are doing!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My top ten reasons for starting this blog

Welcome to KidsEbookBestsellers.com, where I’ll be blogging about the changing face of publishing and the effect of ebooks on the authors, purchasers and readers of children’s books.

This blogs will feature the latest news on the ebook trend and the weekly top ten bestseller lists from the eight most popular ebook stores. (Check out the links in the top right corner.) 

If you’re a parent, librarian, author, teacher, reading specialist, publisher, agent – anyone interested in books for children, from picture books through to young adult – join the conversation and keep your finger on the pulse of the exploding ebook market and its impact on children’s fiction.

For my first post, I’ll give you my Top Ten Reasons for starting the Kids Ebook Bestsellers blog:

1) There is currently no industry wide ebook bestseller list. I decided to compile my own lists from the eight most popular stores into one easy-to-read chart. This snapshot is not available anywhere else.

2) Ebook sales are not currently reflected in the New York Times bestseller list.

3) The authors who are succeeding in the ebook format need to be congratulated and commended for their achievements.

4) These ebooks are selling online because of people’s choices, not because of extensive distribution to bookstores or their strategic placement within those stores.

5) The ebook platform gives authors a better chance of selling their work outside the traditional agent/publisher model, and it gives them a higher percentage of each sale.

6) A local high school purchased Kindles for their students this year, eliminating the need for printed text books.***

7) I’m an author of children’s stories and articles, so I’m closely watching the changing face of the publishing scene.

8) If a traditional publisher accepted one of my books today for publication, by the time it went through their 18 to 24 month process and finally hit the bookstores, I wonder how many bookstores will be left.

9) I love my Kindle.

10) This is the future of books, including children’s books. Change is difficult, but change is also exciting. I want to help you learn more about this change, explore how it will affect children’s fiction, and see what benefits may be in store for you whether you’re reading, writing or buying books for kids.

*** Read about it.

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