What are the trends in children’s publishing?

Shantanu Duttagupta, Head of Publishing, Scholastic India shares his views on the ongoing trends in children’s publishing, what kind of books interest them, importance of translations and more.

Trends in children’s publishing…
Shantanu Duttagupta , Head of Publishing, Scholastic India

“One of the greatest thing about children’s books is that there are so many genres to work with. The trends in books are like fashion, what was popular a decade ago comes back in a new form and starts trending again. Traditionally, children’s books have leaned more toward non-fiction. But we’re noticing an upsurge in fiction, of late,” tells Shantanu Duttagupta, Head of Publishing, Scholastic India.

On asking about the translations in children’s books, Shantanu replies, “There are lots of possibilities in translations from regional languages and vice-versa. Some of the best loved children’s books are translations.”

Diversity and inclusivity in children’s books

“There’s plenty to talk about in the diversity and inclusivity area. Books like Nadya, Puu, Good Morning, India! are just a few that come to mind,” tells Shantanu.

Books children are reading…

“Children are reading chapter books, illustrated storybooks, books that make them laugh, and stories that fire their imagination,” tells Shantanu.“Besides, stories of human interest and imaginary worlds tend to be perennial favourites.”

“In non-fiction, one of our current bestseller is Girl Power – Indian Women who Broke the Rules by Neha J Hiranandani. In fiction, Ashok Banker’s The Invisible Spy has been a hit. Apart from these series, books like Dog Man, The Bad Guys, Tom Gates, Geronimo Stilton are popular, to name a few,” he adds.

Importance of illustrations

Illustrations are often used in children’s books to make them more appealing. So how important are illustrations for children’s books? “Illustrations are essential but that entirely depends on the age range and format of the book,” replies Shantanu.

On reading habits in children

“The children’s publishing landscape is vibrant. I don’t think its declining at all. Look at the number of independent publishers in the market these days. That in itself tells you a lot about the hunger and demand for books,” he adds.

“Scholastic has been a part of the publishing landscape for 22 years in India now. There’s an entire generation that’s grown up on our books. Our reach to over 7000 schools across India through our various reading programmes has been instrumental in raising readers,” he adds as a matter of fact.

What makes a bestseller?

“In my opinion, one of the best indicators of a bestseller is that it becomes a regular seller as a backlisted title,” tells Shantanu.

Print vs. digital

“There’s a lot of children’s content on digital platform. But mostly I’d say children are consuming books in print far more and that is a good sign,” concludes Shantanu.

Shantanu Duttagupta is currently the Publisher for Scholastic in India. Since 2007, he has worked in children’s publishing. His love of reading landed him a job where he could truly express himself. He is extremely passionate about books and their power to change. He believes that every experience builds character and hopes that everybody finds a calling where they can express themselves creatively and passionately.

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