Sunday, October 7, 2012

Scholastic's David Levithan on digital reading and transmedia

Librarian, book sellers and publishers are all wondering how children will take to digital reading. It's clear that children are not taking to ereaders in the same way that adults are. In part, children still get the majority of their books from libraries that are invested in print books. Public libraries are expanding their digital collections, but are putting the vast majority of their digital resources in adult books. In my area, public libraries have quite small digital ebook collections for children. But I think there's more to it than that.

Jeremy Greenfield, Editorial Director of the Digital Book World, recently interviewed Scholastic's David Levithan about digital reading and transliteracy. Levithan is the editor at Scholastic who helped develop the concept for the 39 Clues and the new Infinity Ring, two series that spur children to move between print books, websites and online games. But Levithan is also a best-selling YA author, of such hits as Will Grayson, Will Grayson and Every Day.

Here are some highlights I want to take away from this interview:
  • Publishers are seeing significant digital sales for their YA ebooks, but children's digital sales are still in their infancy. Publishers are particularly interested in the adult-YA crossover for digital books.
  • Scholastic broke ground with its 39 Clues multiplatform transliteracy experience, building and developing this in-house.
  • They are seeing that kids who are hooked on playing digital games with multi-platform series are also hooked on reading the print series. They are growing readers as part of this experience.
  • "It's about finding as many canvasses for storytelling as possible."
Greenfield, J. (2012). "Scholastic's hit-maker on Hunger Games, digital reading and transmedia." Digital Book World, August 24, 2012. Retrieved from

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