Multilingual communication in a digital world

Archive for the ‘sales’ Category

Parents, Kids, and E-books

There have been more than a few articles between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year on the kids and e-books debate. It seems clear that kids, especially those in the middle grades, like and want e-readers and e-books. Many parents, though, – even, according to a November NY Times article ( those who themselves are e-reading fans – seem to prefer print media for their children.

Until very recently, I was one of them. Luckily, I am the mother of an avid reader, a kid who loves reading for the adventure, but also for the smell and feel of the books themselves. But my kid is just a little different from me: my child equally loves electronics. Print books are just another device, another medium for this generation. Last year’s “Kids and Family Reading Report” ( bears this out.

We have to supply good literature in as many media as possible to expose this millennial generation to as many shades of language and thought as possible. It is through reading that the vocabulary explosion happens, and that kids find themselves.

So now I fall distinctly into the camp of those who believe that anything that gets children ages 8 and up, especially boys, to read for fun, is good. E-readers and e-books are an easy way to expose children to a variety of texts, without breaking either the bank or the kids’ backs. E-ink is my choice (yes, even for digital media, I am still “old school!”) because it makes kids focus on the text itself, relying on the words to spark the visual in each child’s mind.

What do you think? Should kids be reading on electronic devices? At what age should they get their first e-reader/e-book?


E-Books and Kids

Day 36-Mythology

Image by Jinx! via Flickr

Why did we choose children’s fiction – and a classical myths title, at that – as our first offering?

Well, the lofty reasons are because we feel that mythology is the foundation of world literatures. As witnessed

Rick Riordan at the 2007 Texas Book Festival, ...

Image via Wikipedia

by the success of Rick Riordan‘s series and J. K. Rowling‘s “Harry Potter” series, kids are still entranced by heroic, epic tales. We also feel that children are not intrinsically motivated to read, especially when they have easier ways to access stories, through video games and television.

The more mundane, business-driven reasons are that e-readers are becoming more accessible to the mass market. We decided to begin with a straight-to-e-book distribution plan because we felt that parents might want an easier way to read to their children. With a backlit e-reader, parents don’t have to leave the lights on or juggle both a book and a flashlight in order to read to their children at bedtime.

A New York Times article in early February 2011 bore our reasoning out. According to this article, both HarperCollins and St. Martin’s Press reported that while young adult e-book titles made up only about 6 percent of their sales in 2010, by January 2011 those sales had gone up to 20 or 25 percent! And parents reported that, thanks to receiving e-readers for the holidays, their 6 to 11 year old children were reading more than ever!

We feel that the trend is just beginning. Indeed, according to Publisher’s Weekly, total e-book sales were up 137.9% in the first nine months of 2011!

So, while we honestly don’t believe print books will ever go out of style, we are still on the e-book path for now!

Related articles

Why the e-book format?

English: A 1st generation Apple iPad showing i...

Image via Wikipedia

As a publisher, LDC, LLC chose the e-book format because of the obvious reasons: it’s not yet a saturated market; digital sales were beginning to grow;  cool new devices like the iPad were being launched; older devices were being adopted more readily, by more people; development/production-to-market turnaround times are much faster; there’s more flexibility in terms of types of content we can offer; costs are lower for both the publisher and the consumer; did we already mention the cool factor? It’s just cool, cool, cool – like gaming, but inter-generational!