Friday, July 11, 2008

The age-ranging debate is certainly an interesting one

I just can't see that age-banding on the backs of books will actually persuade people who don't buy books (for children) to go out and buy them.

From another English commenter:

From my years of sales experience at Walker Books I found all level of age banding on shelves, displays, removable stickers simply did not achieve a great result. The majority of booksellers in the large stores would run a mile to avoid 'that messy kids section'!

Which left me feeling that my sense that booksellers often undercook the kids section was absolutely right.


BLC said...

I agree. Seems to be just another "buzz" thing. Is it an attempt to reach back into the school library market, and persuade teachers that we "need" this? Then get us to sell it as a flow on to our parents??

Who knows.

I am amazed at the difficulty there is in actually GETTING published, but there is so much emphasis put into marketing things like this.

Parents will look at it as a guide I guess, but it will not make them enter the store will it?

Scolastic etc already publish books through their book club monthly sales mag with their own type of banded reading age guides. I wonder dso they find that these are greater sellers than anything else.

The kids section in bookstores relies largely on picture books and series. Its very hard to get noticed on the shelf unless you are part of a series, are running on the back of a TV show, have fairies and glitter, or are a picture book that can be displayed cover out.

Kids run around in there, they look, they touch. Unless there is a dedicated assisitant, that area gets trashed easily.

That's the nature of the beast. It's not like age banding will sudddenly sort that out and have parents flocking through the door.

It has its place, but is not the be all and end all I dont think.

Just my thoughts.

Andrew's black dog blog said...

It is hard to get published because not enough people buy books or perhaps more accurately they buy a lot of a few titles and that is the direction the market is heading - even more of even fewer titles. I'm amazed at how few even excellent books sell. The few that do sell support the many, and there are even more that don't see the light of publication. It's tough for everybody - authors and publishers.

And age-ranging is not panacea to that problem. It's an interesting point about Scholastic. That's an individual publishers choice not an industry wide initiative and they sell a lot of books within an educational environment. My understanding is that there experience is that it does sell more books through the channels they use.

thanks for the comment.