I've been so busy this past year that I've neglected my blog, among other things. My head is hanging mighty low. If I were a mutt, I'd be plopped on my twist of a tail, banished to the dog house 'till New Years. Thank goodness I'm human, (faults and all) with so much to be grateful for, especially you - my supportive, patient readers and friends.
While it's true that 2011 had it's highs and lows, I still remain optimistic about the future of the Children's Publishing industry. This has been the year of the "App", a boom for self-publishers everywhere. If you've still got your head in the sand, thinking you can ride it out until the tide turns, you'd better get real. Apps are still on the rise and here to stay! With all the new App building tools flooding cyberspace, illustrators who can create them will soon be a dime a dozen. Although, it's not as easy as they'd like us to believe!
What I've learned so far is, I jumped the gun in thinking it was something I'd be able to pick up quickly. Even with simple App building tools and a bucketload of Photoshop skills, I'm spending a ridiculous amount of time building my first trial run. "Simple" it is NOT! At least not for this old dinosaur. But I know that I must get aboard the train, or be left at the station.
"So," you may ask, "why am I so optimistic
about the future of children's publishing?"
I'll tell you why. With all the changes we experienced in 2011, I think there are big changes yet to come!
*Have you noticed that no one is really squawking about the poor quality of so many self-published apps?? Wait. It's only a matter of time.
Teachers, Mom's, and doting Grandparents will get tired of poorly written stories and mediocre illustrations. . . even if they are just $1.99 a pop! I mean, every kid on the planet has wanted some dangerous or stupid toy at one time or another, but we eventually woke up and refused to buy it, realizing that it was bad for our kids.
So how will we ensure quality in future picture book Applications??
I think that's where traditional publishers can gain
back some of the ground they lost in 2011!
Consumers still remain confident in the quality that recognizable publishers maintain. They know that when they purchase an App from a traditional publishing house, they're going to get material that is well written, visually appealing and usually educational in some way. Now that publishers are waking up and producing Apps of their own, self-publishing will (once again) take a back seat to quality assurance. Professional illustrators who took the time to grow their talent and learn how to illustrate for Apps, will be highly sought after.
And what about printed picture books?
In a world full of keyboards, wide screens, hand-held devices and video games, I choose to believe that printed picture books will blossom like flowers in the sun. With their intoxicating aroma, and delicate pages, they'll become more valuable than ever. Just like Christmas, they'll be something to preserve and treasure. :o)
*Self publishers: Please do not send hate mail! I acknowledge that there are many, many wonderful Apps being produced by self-publishers today. It is unfortunate that their voices are getting buried in a sea of mediocrity! When the marketplace establishes some sort of quality assurance, I'm sure that the cream will rise to the top!