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Every year the Society of Chldren's Book Writers and Illustrators in the British Isles stages a panel focused on gauging the State of the Nation - the children's book industry. This year I was honoured to compere the panel at our yearly conference in Winchester.
It seems the Children's Book Nation has become a world of huge commercial debuts. But are we kidding ourselves? Will publishers continue to support the authors if the books do not succeed as wildly as they hope? The bottom line features largely in decision making - no longer can an author or artist expect nurturing from their publishers and editors, in the name of enriching literature and culture. And this is the year libraries and booksellers are under siege as never before. The dominance of Amazon threatens the structures that hold up our book culture. What to do? What does the future hold?
Hodder Senior Commissioning Editor Beverley Birch
Waterstone's Children's New Titles Buyer Melissa Cox
Carnegie Panel member and Chair of Youth Library Group Matt Imrie
Literary agent Claire Wilson from Rogers, Coleridge and White
US Author and founder of SCBWI Lin Oliver
Compere: Candy Gourlay, author of Tall Story
Thanks to Digital Book World and artists who created Penguin/Random House Logos
Thanks to photographers of UK Library Closures and Demonstrations
Quotes from Nathan Bransford, Sara Odedina, Chris Riddell, Rachelle Gardner, Marjorie Scardino and the New York Times. Screen grab from The Guardian article by Alison Flood