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Old 09-29-2011, 03:18 PM   #1
MitchFairchild
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Question Will Children's Literature Make The Jump Form Print To Ebook Format?

My name is Mitch Fairchild and I am an indie children’s writer. Over the past few years, I've been writing children's poems for my own children and the students at the elementary school where I work. About a year ago I was encouraged to write a children's book using the hundreds of poems that I had written. As I began to pick and choose which poems would be book worthy and which would not, I soon realized that I had enough poems (after taking out the really bad ones) for 5 children's books. As I started illustrating the books, I was made aware of the whole ebook concept and started to research the ins and outs of ebook publishing. I quickly realized and fell in love with the amount of creative control an indie writer could have if he/she went the ebook rout. As a result, I decided to write my children's books with the strategy of publishing them strictly online via Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com and the iStore.com.


I've just released the first ebook of the five ebook series and now I am left with the job of promoting the book. Many have told me that there will never be a place for children's ebooks because children don't own Kindles, Nooks or iPads. But I believe that parents will soon see that having a children's library on some kind of ebook device will take up less space in the home and make the children's books more readily available. After all, what mom or dad wants to go looking through closets, under beds and out in the back yard for their child's favorite book? I believe there are endless possibilities when it comes to children's ebooks. Probably the biggest factor in purchasing a children's ebook versus a print book is cost. A parent can purchase a quality children's ebook for an average cost of $2.99...compare that to buying the same quality print book in a local book store for $10.99 and up. The second biggest factor for parents and children to take into account is the "on demand" factor. If a child wants a poetry book, short story or biography, all the parent has to do is search for a title or author, purchase the ebook and upload it instantly. No more running to the book store or waiting for an ordered book to arrive. The entire purchasing and receiving of a book takes place in the amount of time it takes for a person to get up out of their chair, grab a handful of cookies and a glass of milk and then sit back down.

With the release of the Kindle Fire and the already existing Nook Color and iPad (which is color...duh) the opportunities for children's authors to publish their books with colorful illustrations now exist in each of the major ebook markets. I think now is the perfect time for the writers of children's ebooks to hit these distributers hard and get those children's ebooks cranked out. Ride the wave of this new medium into the future and put smiles on the faces of children, and parents, around the world. Once parents, and children, discover how convenient the ebook concept is, they will quickly realize the value it adds to their everyday lives.

~Mitch

Last edited by MitchFairchild; 10-07-2011 at 01:05 AM.
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Old 09-30-2011, 02:55 PM   #2
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Children's books is one area where I just don't see ebooks getting nearly as much tractions, except perhaps for interactive read-aloud books (which are device-specific, lowering their appeal). There are a lot of real advantages to real books for children.

Pre-readers can go pull their favorite book of the shelf and page through looking at pictures on their own. Not so much on a Kindle.

Putting Cheerios on the Kindle screen just doesn't go over as well as playing with a real Cheerios book.

I'd much rather be looking outside or under a bed for my child's favorite book, than looking there for my iPad.

All seven people in my family can go get a book to read at the same time. I don't have seven iPads.

I have many favorite books from my childhoods that I lovingly packed up when I went to college and now read to my kids. Downloading an ePub doesn't bring the same emotional attachment as a real book.

I don't think the price advantage is nearly what you make it out to be, either. I looked at the Magic Tree House series, for example. Kindle editions were mostly in the $2.99-$4.99 range. New paperbacks were mostly in the $3.99-$4.99 range. Plus, you have the option to buy used.

Last edited by SleepyBob; 09-30-2011 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 09-30-2011, 03:04 PM   #3
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Right now my older daughter (9) and I kind of share usage of my iPad and Nook, but I do actually plan to get her an ereader of her own. Her room seems to be swimming in books, and she hates to get rid of them as she reads a lot of them over and over again. I am even prepared to re-purchase a lot of her books in ebook format so they're on the ereader and I can get rid of the books in piles around her room. I doubt I'm alone!

For my younger daughter (2), she is tactile at that age and it just doesn't make sense for her. She wants to feel the book and physically turn pages.

IMO for older kids, yes, but for younger kids, no.
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Old 09-30-2011, 03:06 PM   #4
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^Agreed. I'm thinking it will probably be around age five or six that my son might get something like that or inherit an older device from someone as a starting point.
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Old 10-12-2011, 12:29 PM   #5
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There is also the slobber factor to consider. A lot of the Little Golden Books we had around the house back in the day should have been handled with latex gloves. They were covered in drool, peanut butter and who knows what all else. That was okay with books we bought for 50 cents. Probably not so great on a much pricier and delicate ereader.
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Old 10-12-2011, 01:17 PM   #6
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If audio players are made that sing songs and tell stories to small children, but the controls and speakers are protected, then it is likely that a reader with a ruggedly protected screen wil replace fragile paper books.

Cloth books are just too bulky, and too much trouble to was. A rugged ereader could be cleaned with windex.
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:28 AM   #7
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I agree strongly with Mr. Fairchild. My grandchildren have ereaders. The only thing I will say is that I hope you write in epub so that I can buy from other stores (e.g. Fictionwise). I look forward to purchasing and downloading your books.
Each and every dollar makes a difference, especially for more than one child. I'm always surprised when I hear this kind of thing. The initial investment in an ereader helps in the long run (that is what grandparents are for lol!).
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Old 12-27-2011, 03:49 PM   #8
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My folks would have LOVED eReaders when I was a kid. I remember Mom hiding bags of books in advance of a road trip, only to despair when I'd read everything a few hours out. An eReader would have been perfect for me -- so light, so simple!

As for the durability, I was raised by exceedingly anal people when it came to keeping devices pristine. That would not have been a problem.
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:05 PM   #9
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We had Living Books for our computers when our kids were very young. Combining interactivity with words is a great way to teach. I have downloaded a couple interactive books for my Fire and I can say that this is a great platform for interactive literature. I expect "Just Me and My Dad" to show up in the Kindle store any day now.
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:16 PM   #10
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I'm an ebook designer preparing a print children's story series aimed at 6-9 years olds for ebooks. I don't have any grandchildren or contact with children that age, and have some doubts as to how many children that age could manage a Sony or Kindle.

How many of us have children who use ebook readers?

You might find this article interesting:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology...rs-a-for-apple
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:31 PM   #11
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We just got our daughter (9) a tablet for Christmas, and while she hasn't read any books on it, she's already used it for more than a few comics. (And Angry Birds).
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:48 PM   #12
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I would have loved an ebook reader when I was a kid, but thinking of my niece (13) and nephew (6), I don't think they'd be crazy about it. They like to play with their dad's Xoom tablet too much to be pleased with an eink screen, I think. If they were older they'd appreciate it for novels but not right now.

As far as books, my sister takes them to the library (not so much my niece any more but definitely still my nephew). For a 6-year-old, going the library and choosing whatever books he wants from the shelf is a treat and an experience I feel he would miss out on if his mom could just download all his books from the computer. He also learns about taking care of other people's property, and that he has to return the books on time if he wants to get more.

Besides all this, buying a kid an expensive electronic device just seems like a bad idea... but I suppose it depends on the kid.
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:54 PM   #13
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My 11 year old and 8 year old both have kobo touch devices. My 8 year older daughter reads around 30 books a month so the library is our friend! I would LOVE a greater selection of kids books. Both kids download their own books, being that little bit older makes that easier.

Alexbell, I'm looking forward to seeing your series.
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banjobama View Post
Besides all this, buying a kid an expensive electronic device just seems like a bad idea... but I suppose it depends on the kid.
Kids have tons of expensive electronic devices. Little handheld game systems, iPod touches, wiis, Xboxes, etc. I can't imagine getting my kid all of that but making the "electronic device" hill to die on be the one for reading instead of game-playing.
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickyWithNook View Post
Kids have tons of expensive electronic devices. Little handheld game systems, iPod touches, wiis, Xboxes, etc. I can't imagine getting my kid all of that but making the "electronic device" hill to die on be the one for reading instead of game-playing.
Yeah, true. I forgot about all that stuff. Probably because I never had it till I could buy it myself. Definitely just depends on the kid/family.
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