I love reading about how self-published authors achieve success. Every story is different, and each one contains valuable insights as to how the process of achieving that hard-won success works. 

After reading quite a few of these stories, I have noticed a pattern. 

First, the author writes something that stands out, either because it unique, different, or appeals to something in readers in a way that touches them. 

Second, the author finds a platform. 

Authors, especially self-published authors, need someone to champion them. Back in the day, that job fell to publishers. But increasingly, publishers are doing very little to promote their authors' work. Promotion now falls on the shoulders of the authors, leaving them with a task that is Herculean. 

In all of the cases in which authors have been successful, their success has ultimately been due to someone else taking up the mantle of promotion. 

In this case, it was a book store owner. In other cases, readers on Reddit and reading communities, have promoted books. Bloggers, ebook promoters, Amazon, and even Twitter have all been instrumental in helping authors achieve success. 

The trick is to find a platform that can help you get noticed.

Helpful articles

15 Reading and Writing Communities That Can Boost Your Platform

Twitter: How to Build a Following - for Writers

Reddit for Writers

The 4-Hour Bestseller

Three-Book Deal in Sheep's Clothing

By Sue Corbett, BookLife, November 16, 2015

John Churchman was sure he had violated it when, in early October, he dropped in unannounced at his local bookstore, the Flying Pig in Shelburne, Vt., with copies of the picture book he had recently published with his wife, Jennifer.

“I’m sure they were thinking, ‘How fast can we get this guy to leave?’ ” Churchman admits. But as he showed the book to store co-owner Elizabeth Bluemle, an eavesdropping customer said she’d buy a copy. Bluemle pulled over another store browser to take a look. That customer bought a copy, too. Bluemle was sold: she told Churchman she’d take another eight for her shelves.

Little did Churchman, a photographer who runs a “picture farm” (more on that later), know just how serendipitous a sale he’d made. Bluemle was so impressed with The SheepOver that she told the Churchmans she’d like to write a blog post about it. “We thought, ‘That is so nice. Of course,’ ” said Jennifer Churchman. “We thought she meant she was going to write about it in the newsletter she writes for the store.”

Instead, Bluemle, a contributor to PW’s ShelfTalker blog, wrote a post about what set the Churchmans’ book apart from many other self-published titles: the beautifully crafted photo-illustrations, the textured backgrounds, the extremely expressive animals, the heartwarming story of one animal coming to the rescue of another. 

Bluemle’s blog post, published on October 2, almost instantly made the Churchmans a highly sought-after creative team. Multiple agents contacted them, wondering if they had considered shopping their book to a mainstream publisher. The first to reach them, however, was Brenda Bowen of Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. 

Read the rest of this illuminating article HERE.

Even as half of Europe is sharpening their spears in preparation for a protracted war on Amazon, the self-publishing giant has made it even easier to publish books for children.

The main sticking point of uploading children’s books onto Amazon’s platform has been the difficulty of getting illustrations to convert to Kindle. Amazon appears to have solved that problem with KDP Kids, a publishing platform that allows authors to import illustrations, add pop-ups, and preview illustrated books with Kindle Kids' Book Creator.

More to the point, KDP Kids allows authors to target the parents - the people who are going to buy your book - of children in their demographic.

Amazon Unveils KDP Kids

SourcePublishers Weekly, Sep 04, 2014

In a move designed to attract and support children’s book authors and self-publishers, Amazon has launched KDP Kids, a children's-focused illustrated and chapter book category in the Kindle Store.

Amazon is also introducing the Kindle Kids’ Book Creator, a set of authoring tools designed to facilitate the creation and production of kids’ digital titles for the Kindle format, including illustrated titles. Commenting on the launch and ability to create illustrated books, Kindle senior v-p Russ Grandinetti said, “No one should have to be a computer programmer to create a beautiful, illustrated book for kids."

The move marks the continuing growth of digital self-publishing in general as well as the growing number of children’s books already available via KDP. Under the new KDP Kids category, authors will also have access to the Kindle Kids Book Creator, which offers software tools (available for Windows and Mac OS) that can take advantage of Kindle format features like pop-up text, previews and the importation of illustrations.

KDP Kids authors can prepare their prose or illustrated books, upload them to KDP Kids and use a variety of filters for age, grade and reading levels to place the title and attract the specific customer leveled for their titles. Through the KDP Kids platform, authors can earn up to a 70% royalty depending upon book price.

KDP Kids authors will also have access to Kindle Marketing tools such as Countdown Deals and Free Book promotions. They are also eligible to enroll in Kindle Unlimited, Amazon’s e-book subscription service, and the Kindle Lending Library.

If you are a children's or young adult author, you have the option of submitting your work directly to a number of publishers without needing a middleman. While most of these are small to mid-range publishers, some are big names in the industry.

As always, go to the publisher's website and read their lists to see if your work would be a good fit. Read their submission requirements very carefully. If you don't follow their submission guidelines to the letter, they will not read your manuscript.

Be forewarned that if you submit your work directly to a publisher, and are rejected, you can't backtrack later and submit it again through an agent. Most agents will not represent works that have been previously "shopped" to publishers.

Albert Whitman & Company has been publishing award-winning children’s books since 1919. Albert Whitman’s special interest titles address subjects such as disease, bullying, and disabilities. Submissions: Albert Whitman and Company currently has an open submissions policy. They read and review unagented manuscripts and proposals for picture books, middle-grade fiction, and young adult novels. Email submissions only. Note:They will not review any submissions that do not follow their submission guidelines.

Arthur A. Levine Books was founded in 1996 as an imprint of Scholastic Press. Since then, they have produced more than one hundred seventy-nine works of hardcover literary fiction and nonfiction for children, teenagers, and adults. Submissions:  Picture Books: Query letter + the full text; Novels: Query letter + the first two chapters + synopsi;, Other: Query letter + five page samples (five poems, five nonfiction pages, etc.); Illustration: Three sample illustrations via attachment, and links to online portfolios. Do not send full manuscripts.

August House focuses on world folktales and the art and uses of storytelling. Submissions are by regular post only. Please review their guidelines before contacting them about publishing your work. They do not respond unless they are interested.

Boyds Mills Press is the trade division of Highlights for Children, Inc. They publish their books under five imprints. SubmissionsPicture Books: Please submit the entire manuscript of your picture book; Middle Grade Fiction: Please submit the first three chapters (do not include chapters from the middle of the book) and a plot summary; Nonfiction: Include a detailed bibliography with your submission and a detailed explanation of the books in the marketplace that are similar to yours. Regular mail only.

Capstone publishes both fiction and nonfiction books for struggling and reluctant readers. They have four imprints and three separate divisions with over 3,000 books in print. Submissions: Most of Capstone's books are produced in-house, but they are also interested in receiving writers’ manuscripts and reviewing artists' portfolios. Fiction submissions should be sent via email, nonfiction by regular post only. They respond only if they are interested.

Charlesbridge publishes both picture books and transitional “bridge books” (books ranging from early readers to middle-grade chapter books). Nonfiction books focus on nature, science, social studies, and multicultural topics. Fiction titles include lively, plot-driven stories with strong, engaging characters. Submissions: Please submit only one or two manuscript(s) at a time. For picture books and books, please send a complete manuscript. For fiction books longer than 30 manuscript pages, please send a detailed plot synopsis, a chapter outline, and three chapters of text. For nonfiction books longer than 30 manuscript pages, please send a detailed proposal, a chapter outline, and one to three chapters of text. Regular mail only. No simultaneous submissions. Read guidelines here.

Dial Books for Young Readers is a hardcover division publishing approximately 70 titles per year for children of all ages, from preschool through young adult. It is currently a division of Penguin Young Readers Group. Submissions: Dial accepts entire picture book manuscripts, and for longer books a maximum of 10 pages.When submitting a portion of a longer work, please provide an accompanying cover letter that briefly describes your manuscript's plot, genre (i.e. easy-to-read, middle grade or YA novel), the intended age group, and your publishing credits, if any. Regular mail only. Read guidelines here.

Free Spirit publishes nonfiction books and learning materials for children and teens, parents, educators, counselors, and others who live and work with young people. They do not publish fiction. Submissions: Proposals to be considered must be sent by mail (not by fax or email). Include the following: A cover letter briefly outlining your project, the intended audience (including age ranges), and your relevant expertise; A current résumé; A detailed chapter-by-chapter outline; At least two sample chapters. (If a full manuscript is available, you may send it.); A market analysis with a comprehensive listing of similar titles and detailed explanation of how your project differs from available products; A description of your personal promotion plan for the proposed book (including both in-person and social media outreach). Read guidelines here.

Holiday House specializes in hardcovers, from picture books to young adult, both fiction and nonfiction for ages four and up. They do not publish mass market books, including pop-ups, activity books, sticker books, coloring books, or licensed books. Submissions: Holiday House only responds if they are interested in publishing your manuscript. Please send the entire manuscript, whether submitting a picture book or novel. All submissions should be directed to the Editorial Department, Holiday House, 425 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10017. They do not accept submissions by email or fax.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt publishers are the oldest publishers in the world. They publish a range of fiction and non fiction books for adults and children.Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers and Clarion Books are hardcover imprints. Submissions: They do not respond unless they are interested in publishing your work. Response time is twelve weeks. Manuscripts should be typed and submitted via regular mail. They do not accept submissions by e-mail or fax. For picture books and novels, please send the entire manuscript. For nonfiction, submit a synopsis and sample chapters. Please submit exclusively to one HMH imprint only.

Ideals Children’s Books publishes fiction and nonfiction picture books for children ages 4 to 8. Subjects include holiday, inspirational, and patriotic themes; relationships and values; and general fiction. Submissions: Manuscripts should be no longer than 800 words. CandyCane Press publishes board books and novelty books for children ages 2 to 5. Subject matter is similar to Ideals Children’s Books, with a focus on younger children. Manuscripts should be no longer than 250 words. Ideals magazine welcomes the opportunity to review your poetry or prose. Complete manuscripts only, sent by regular mail.

Just Us Books publishes children’s books that celebrate the diversity of Black history, culture and experiences. Submissions: Just Us Books is currently accepting queries for chapter books and middle reader titles only. Please send a query letter pitching us your manuscript, 1-2 page synopsis of your manuscript, 3-5 sample pages of your manuscript, a brief author bio that includes any previously published work, self-addressed stamped envelope. (Submission guidelines are located on Contact page.)

Kane Miller is expanding its picture book, chapter book, and middle-grade fiction lists. They are interested in all genres (mystery, fantasy, adventure, historical, etc.), especially those with particularly American subjects. Submissions: Please send either the complete picture book manuscript, or a synopsis and two sample chapters of your fiction work. Electronic submissions accepted.

Lerner Publishing Group is one of the nation’s largest independently owned children’s publishers with more than 5,000 books in print. Their Jewish-themed imprint, Kar-Ben, is the only division accepting submissions. Submissions: (Scroll down page for PDF submission guidelines.) Kar-Ben accepts unsolicited manuscripts by regular post only.

Meadowbrook Press specializes in pregnancy, childcare, children’s poetry, juvenile novels, children’s activities, party planning, and adult humor. They are also the number one publisher of baby name books in the country, with six baby-naming books in print and total sales of over eleven million copies. Submissions: Fiction writers, please send a cover letter, your credentials and market analysis along with a table of contents and a sample chapter. Poets may send completed (funny) poems. Postal submissions only. Response time: six months.

OnStage Publishing publishes chapter books, middle grade novels and young adult novels. They do not publish picture books, short stories or poetry. Query first for non-fiction. They only publish fiction books for ages 8 to 18. Submissions: Fiction: If under 100 pages, submit the completed, double-spaced manuscript. If over 100 pages, submit the first three chapters and a plot summary. Cover letter with market analysis required. Submissions may be sent via regular mail or email. Please read author guidelines here.

Pants On Fire Press, located in Winter Garden, Florida, publishes picture, middle-grade and young adult books. They are always on the lookout for Action, Adventure, Animals, Comedic, Dramatic, Dystopian, Fantasy, Historical, Paranormal, Romance, Sci-fi, Supernatural and Suspense stories. Submissions: Pants on Fire is acquiring Chapter Books, Middle-grade and Young Adult fiction. Please read complete author guidelines here.

Hey, it's Spring! That means contest time.

This one is FREE. (I am a strong believer in free contests.)

What do you get if you win?

Essentially, you get a chance to be represented by the agent who is reading the entries. So, make sure you check out Christa at McIntosh and Otis (scroll down). You never know - she could become your agent!

Writer's Digest, March 4, 2014 | Chuck Sambuchino

Welcome to the 14th (free!) “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest on the GLA blog. This is a recurring online contest with agent judges and super-cool prizes. Here’s the deal: With every contest, the details are essentially the same, but the niche itself changes—meaning each contest is focused around a specific category or two. So if you’re writing contemporary middle grade fiction, this 14th contest is for you! (The contest is live through EOD, March 18, 2014.)


After a previous “Dear Lucky Agent” contest, the agent judge, Tamar Rydzinski (The Laura Dail Literary Agency), signed one of the three contest winners. After Tamar signed the writer, she went on to sell two of that writer’s books! How cool! That’s why these contests are not to missed if you have an eligible submission.


E-mail entries to dearluckyagent14@gmail.com. Please paste everything. No attachments.


The first 150-200 words of your unpublished, book-length work of contemporary middle grade fiction. You must include a contact e-mail address with your entry and use your real name. Also, submit the title of the work and a logline (one-sentence description of the work) with each entry.

Please note: To be eligible to submit, you must mention this contest twice through any any social-media. Please provide a social media link or Twitter handle or screenshot or blog post URL, etc., with your offical e-mailed entry so the judge and I can verify eligibility. Some previous entrants could not be considered because they skipped this step! Simply spread the word twice through any means and give us a way to verify you did; a tinyURL for this link/contest for you to easily use is http://tinyurl.com/kva3w9j. An easy way to notify me of your sharing is to include my Twitter handle @chucksambuchino somewhere in your mention(s) if using Twitter. And if you are going to solely use Twitter as your 2 times, please wait 1 day between mentions to spread out the notices, rather than simply tweeting twice back to back. Thanks.


Contemporary middle grade fiction. This means any middle grade set in our present world and time — mainstream, thriller, romance, mystery, adventure, humor, etc. What the agent judge will NOT consider as part of this contest is stories set outside our present world — sci-fi, fantasy, historical, steampunk.


This contest will be live for approximately 14 days—from March 4, 2014 through the end of March 18, 2014, PST. Winners notified by e-mail within three weeks of end of contest. Winners announced on the blog thereafter.

To enter, submit the first 150-200 words of your book. Shorter or longer entries will not be considered. Keep it within word count range please.

You can submit as many times as you wish. You can submit even if you submitted to other contests in the past, but please note that past winners cannot win again. All that said, you are urged to only submit your best work.

The contest is open to everyone of all ages, save those employees, officers and directors of GLA’s publisher, F+W Media, Inc.

By e-mailing your entry, you are submitting an entry for consideration in this contest and thereby agreeing to the terms written here as well as any terms possibly added by me in the “Comments” section of this blog post. (If you have questions or concerns, write me personally at chuck.sambuchino (at) fwmedia.com. The Gmail account above is for submissions, not questions.)


Top 3 winners all get: 1) A critique of the first 10 double-spaced pages of your work, by your agent judge. 2) A free one-year subscription to WritersMarket.com ($50 value)!


Christa Heschke is an agent with McIntosh & Otis. (Find her on Twitter, and see her blog, Neverending Stories.) Christa graduated from Binghamton University with a major in English and a minor in Anthropology. She started in publishing as an intern at both Writers House and Sterling Lord Literistic, where she fell in love with the agency side of publishing. Christa has been at McIntosh and Otis, Inc. in the Children’s Literature Department since 2009 where she is actively looking for picture books, middle grade, young adult and new adult projects and is currently building her list.

Increasingly, writers' societies are recognizing the value of self-published books. This year, the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators is bestowing an annual award to "non-traditionally" published children books (picture, middle grade, YA) that meet SCBWI's standards for excellence.

If you have written a children's or YA book, and self-published it, this is a prize well worth pursuing. The SCBWI is a highly respected organization, one all children's book authors should join.

Spark Award

The Spark Award is an annual award that recognizes excellence in a children’s book published through a non-traditional publishing route.


Deadline for submission is December 31 for books published in that calendar year. Books published in previous years and re-issues are ineligible.



The winner and Honor Book recipients will receive a Spark seal to display on their book, a commemorative plaque and the opportunity to have their book featured at our Summer and Winter Conferences in Los Angeles and New York, in our SCBWI online bookstore and publicized through SCBWI social networking sites.


1. You must be a current SCBWI member with membership current through April of the following year to apply.  If you are a member now but your membership is scheduled to expire before that time, you will need to renew your membership in order to be eligible for the award. BOTH the author and illustrator (if applicable) must be members. In the case of co-authors, both must be members. If either case wins the award, two awards will be given.

2. You must have published a book intended for the children’s or YA market in one of the following categories: Board Book, Picture Book, Chapter Book, Middle Grade, or Young Adult.

3. The book may be fiction or non-fiction.

4. The book should have been self-published either through an established self-publishing enterprise or individually self-published.  The book cannot have been previously published in any print or digital form prior to the self-published form.

5. SCBWI reserves the right to disqualify books published by enterprises that we believe, in our discretion, operate in a predatory or unbusiness-like manner.

6. The entry must be submitted in traditionally bound form, contain an ISBN number, and provide evidence of Copyright Registration. For books originating outside the US you must follow the copyright rules of your country. Due to the government shutdown you will not be able to access the Copyright website, you may submit your email recipt as proof of copyright registration.

7. One winner and one Honor Book recipient will be chosen from two rounds of judging. The first round will be judged by an SCBWI panel; the second round will be judged by a panel selected from industry editors, agents, authors, illustrators and/or booksellers.

8. Books may be entered for either the Spark Award or The Golden Kite Award, but not both.

Judging will be based on a number of criteria, including but not limited to: quality of writing and concept, quality of illustrations (if applicable), professional presentation, editing and design, appropriateness of content for the targeted age group of the book.

Application Procedures:

You must include ALL of the following. Incomplete application packages will be automatically disqualified:

1. Cover letter with ALL of the following information:

-Your name

-Your SCBWI membership expiration date

-Name of your book

-Genre of your book

-Publishing method


-Synopsis of your book

2. Evidence of copyright registration. A completed pending application form is acceptable.

3. Two copies of a printed and bound copy of the book

Send application packages via a traceable mailing method (i.e. FedEx, UPS, US or International Mail with tracking number) to:

SCBWI Spark Award

8271 Beverly Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90048

Questions? Call us at 323-782-1010 or email the Grant Coordinator

(Originally posted on Blogging Authors, Jan 10, 2013 as "Five Best Online Resources for Children's and YA Book Writers")

Children's books are a burgeoning market. Only a few years ago it was possible to send a manuscript directly to a publisher. Although some small publishing houses still follow that policy, the larger houses require an agent. As a consequence, agents who specialize in children's books are burgeoning as well. Writers who are daunted by the process of securing a publisher are increasingly turning to self-publication, a field which is burgeoning along with children's book agents, writers, and publishers.

With all this burgeoning, where can a children's book writer find reliable, comprehensive, and concise information about publishing and marketing? Among the spate of websites that offer information about the world of children's literature, there are five that stand out as particularly useful. Make these the first stops on your path to publication.

1. Literary Rambles: Spotlighting Children's Book Authors, Agents and Publishing
Hosts: Casey McCormick and Natalie Aguirre

If you are looking for an agent, this blog is for you! Every Thursday this site puts the spotlight on an agent who represents children's fiction. The spotlight profiles what these agents are looking for, personal quotes, interviews, response times, what other writers are saying about their professionalism, as well as linking up their web presence – all in one convenient post.

Site features: Over 120 agent spotlights, list of agencies representing children's books, interviews, helpful posts, and numerous links to agent blogs, editor blogs and forums. Also included is an agent search by age category (PB, MG or YA). Be sure to look at the wonderful list of resources on the right sidebar.

2. Rachelle Burk's Resources for Writers
Host: Rachelle Burk

This blog provides one-stop shopping for children's book authors. Rachelle Burk, a children's book writer from New Jersey, has compiled an extensive list of resources designed to help writers with every aspect of their careers – from writing tips to legal advice.

Site features: Helpful writing articles, Publisher/Agent Warning sites, Publisher Listings, Agents, Editors, Query and Cover Letters, Websites: Sources and articles about writing for children, Newsletters and E-zines, Online Forums, Critique Groups, Critique and Editing Services, Author Visits, Nonfiction Writing, Work-For-Hire and Freelance, Reference Resources, Rhyming and Poetry, Writing Organizations, Workshops, Courses and Conferences, Legal Advice, Contests and Awards, Teacher’s Guides, Book Reviewers, Illustrators and Images, Self-Publishing, Print on Demand and Subsidy Publishers, Electronic Publishing, Book Marketing and Promotion, Author Sites for Book Promotion, Books on Writing for Children, National and International Writers' Organizations, Blog List. Of special interest: Resources for Kids Who Write.

3. Writing-World.com

Writing-World is an all-round resource for writers of every stripe. The children's book page contains a list of eye-opening articles.

Site features: The Art and Craft of Writing for Children, Picture Books, YA Books, Agents, Publishers, Book Promotion and Author Interviews. Of special interest: Specialized Markets.

4. Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
Membership: $85

If you haven't already joined the SCBWI, now's the time! With membership, you get The SCBWI Bulletin, a bi-monthly publication containing the most current, comprehensive information about the field of children’s literature. The Bulletin includes the latest marketing reports; articles on writing, illustrating, and publishing; contests and awards announcements; SCBWI member news; and ongoing SCBWI activities throughout the world.

Site features (free): Comprehensive list of awards and grants. The “Find a Speaker” search bar is a great way to locate other children's book writers in your area (which is absolutely essential for networking).

5. Colossal Directory of Children's Publishers

The title of this site says it all. On the upper left sidebar is an A-Z of American publishers of children's books. The website also includes Australian, British and Canadian publishers. The ads on this site are annoying, and the articles are too general to be helpful, but there is no better online resource for children's book publishers.

Site features: Links to children's book publishers, articles on publishing, marketing, editing, writer's guidelines, manuscript formatting, finding a critique group, and “how-to” books.

The Children's Digital Market: Still Uncharted Territory 
 By Gabe Habash  (originally posted on Publishers Weekly Jan 16, 2013) 

The growing complexity of the children’s digital market was parsed by industry experts at the Publishers Launch Children's Publishing Goes Digital Conference in New York on January 15, as panelists and speakers agreed that the transition from print to digital will not be a clean, easy movement and that things are still very much in the experimentation stage. The day-long conference kicked off with the presentation of the findings from a recent study by Bowker that found that among children, there has been a marked decline in bookstore and library influence as a source of recommendation and acquisition, and that many purchases are instead migrating online to vendors like Amazon. The study is part of Bowker’s Understanding the Children’s Book Consumer in the Digital Age.

Friends and family overtook bookstore browsing and libraries as the top influencers, painting the picture of the children’s book market as a highly local word-of-mouth economy. The erosion of libraries and bookstores may be misleading, though, as Gretchen Caserotti of the Darien Public Library used a case study involving Adam Gidwitz’s A Tale Dark and Grimm, which Caserotti said the library system recommended to the local school systems, and that based on the library’s recommendation (and a local award for the book), the school system widely assigned the book in classrooms. When asked how they heard about Grimm, students would most often respond that they heard of it through friends, even though the book was largely implemented because of the push of the library.

The Bowker study had some surprises, most notably: 84% of YA books were purchased by consumers 18 or older – and a full 35% of YA books were bought by consumers aged 18-29, by far the largest demographic. The second-largest demographic was age 30-44; within that segment, dispelling the notion that the YA books are gifts or purchases for teens, fully 80% of respondents reported “they bought the book for themselves.”

In all areas of media use with the exception of video games, girls outpaced boys, both in terms of behavior and in their willingness to engage in discussion.

On the topic of digital, a surprising shift back to print was seen since spring 2012, and for the year e-book adoption growth was flat among teens, with some evidence that teens liked print more in the fall than they did in the spring. One possible reason for this, according to Bookigee CEO Kristen McLean, could be the “shininess” wearing off new devices and, as people become accustomed to what digital can offer, they are making more nuanced decisions regarding reading habits.

Supporting the Bowker finding about teen attitudes toward digital, members of Nook’s digital team shared the fact from a 2012 Figment survey that said 35% of teens are reluctant to embrace digital reading. Kashif Zafar of Nook also revealed that the majority of Nook e-books are purchased on a device and that that number is growing. Further, he said, customers are very aware of price point and level of interactivity, with a gravitation toward full read-and-play titles (the highest level of interactivity).

Perhaps the most eye-opening statistic of the day was that the unit share for online sellers is 41%, but the discovery share for online sellers is 5%. The figure was presented by Peter Hildick-Smith of Codex Group, who stated that the disparity indicates that e-tailers need new strategies when it comes to discovery. A study done by Codex Group in December 2012 found that schools are still the greatest discovery source for books for children, with the category “schools, professionals (teachers, librarians, etc.), and groups” at 28% being the most common answer by parents asked where they found out about the last book they purchased for their child. Within that category, book fairs were the biggest contributor. After that category, 23% of respondents said they found out about the book from their child, 20% said a physical bookseller, and 12% said through digital. And to further show digital’s lagging influence in the children’s sphere, 81% said the recommendation for the book came “in person,” and only 5% said it came through social media.

One area where digital children’s books is beginning to make headway is in the school systems. Todd Brekhus of myON, a digital reading platform that doubled its revenue and number of titles in the last year, estimated that the education technology is a $7.76 billion market, and that it’s a great opportunity for publishers to match the right titles with the right readers. Terri Lynn Soutor of Brain Hive, another growing digital reading platform for schools, stated that there’s been an 83% increase in the number of e-books on a per school average nationwide, and that $42 million was spent on e-books in the U.S. last year. Soutor echoed Brekhus’s point regarding the opportunity that the still largely untapped education technology market holds for publishers, stressing that it’s a low risk proposition and there’s no product development investment.