Key Trends in Children’s Publishing for 2020–2021
It’s safe to say that 2020 was a challenging year for publishing. With book launches delayed, author events and literary festivals cancelled, and book shops forced to close during multiple lockdowns it comes as no surprise that the publishing industry suffered as a result.
With Covid restrictions easing, and retail shops reopened, the industry is keenly anticipating how the coming year will shape up and what trends are emerging.
Focusing in on children’s publishing, many of the trends for this reflect the wider trends within the publishing industry as a whole. Here’s our roundup of key trends in children’s publishing for 2020–2021.
Digital storytelling and online activities
Home-working and home-schooling during 2020 saw a rise in digital storytelling. More children took to reading and learning online, with interactive activities and educational entertainment becoming increasingly popular.
Digital platforms have worked alongside printed children’s books with animations, games and interactive activities online created using much-loved children’s characters from printed books.
This synergy of digital and traditional printed storytelling is set to continue as a trend throughout 2021.
Not all doom and gloom for printed books
Despite the shift towards digital, this doesn’t mark the end for printed children’s books. Many parents and children still prefer hard copies of books, enjoying the experience of turning the pages, studying the illustrations and the chance to explore the texture and shapes of different books.
The dominance of digital in our everyday lives means many parents are concerned over their children’s screen time. As a result, the majority of parents with young children still favour printed books over digital formats, seeing them as vital for childrens’ literacy and early development.
As for the children themselves, a survey by Scholastic showed that nearly half of children who have read eBooks prefer to read printed books for fun.
The future of children’s publishing…
Love it or hate it, digital publishing and storytelling is here to stay. Children’s publishing will continue to evolve and adapt as the trend towards digitisation holds strong. But publishers will have their fingers on the pulse, tapping into what their most important market are hungry for – parents, especially those with younger children, still advocate the importance of printed books to support their children’s development and kindle a lifelong love of reading.
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Melissa Brannlund is the features writer and editor, for author Anita Frost.
Look out for Melissa's latest articles on Anita Frost's author website, where she'll talk about topics including: Business| TV | Music | Publishing, along with author news and events, and giving back to communities.
You can find her in-depth monthly feature on the News & Media page of the Green Bean Collection® website, discussing children's books, reading, and all things Green Bean™
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