Photo credit to goXunuReviews.
The Shatzkin Files is one of my go-to blogs for information on e-books. I appreciate that his point of view is not one of librarians, but instead looks with from the point of view of someone in the publishing industry.
A recent article on his blog talks about the challenges of bringing highly illustrated and children’s books to e-books. This is something I have also been wondering about. I see business books, adult fiction, and even teen fiction working well on e-books, but it seems that picture books are being transformed into apps rather than e-books.
The layout itself is a challenge because with e-books the size of the text changes to match the settings on the device. Add illustrations that that becomes immensely more complicated to manage.
Here is one of Shatzkin’s paragraphs that speaks to children’s books, but the entire article is definitely worth reading, especially if you are a librarian trying to figure out how e-books are changing things:
I have been asking publishers about sales of their children’s and illustrated trade material. I haven’t found anybody yet that says they’re going well. On the children’s side, where there have been pockets of success, the one Big Six digital executive who expressed an opinion to me felt that price was killing sales for the ebook versions of successful franchises. Children’s apps from such distributors as Touchy Books are priced quite low, generally $2.99 and less. But many branded titles like Eloise are $9.99 and $12.99 and up! This executive points out that paying that price for a novel you will spend many hours with is much less painful than paying it for a children’s book your kid will work through in 15 minutes or less.