Okay, before I get to the stories that have caught my eye recently, first I have some very happy news – at least to me!!
Fiction is back at the top of the UK bestsellers charts!! The last few months I’ve seen health books topping the charts, full of clean-eating advice. I’m not one for promoting researched nutrition advice or seeing fiction miss out on the top spot. But today A Summer At Sea by Katie Fford is currently number one. Yay!
In other news it was announced on Wednesday that Macmillan Children’s Books will be releasing a collaborative YA novel by seven different YA authors. The book will follow a group of children through their teenage years who go through a traumatic experience. I am excited about this both by the novel itself and YA authors! Also, different perspectives on what it’s like being a teenager is what I love in YA literature, especially its effects and relatability to teenagers who often suddenly face a lot of issues after a more easy going childhood. It’s not going to be published until July 2018, but this has also motivated me to get going on my own YA novel – though I am not expecting this to be published, it is more an exploration into character building, something I find harder than plot.
The final story I want to talk about is a new study by Renaissance UK. Looking into reading levels between primary and secondary schools, the results are pretty unsurprising – teenagers are failing to read to the expected level and their minds aren’t being stretched. This is then followed with researcher Keith Topping requesting JK Rowling write more children’s books ‘as most children have read Harry Potter now’. Reading this has made me think about marketing in children’s literature. From my perspective, it is absent where it should be present. I see few adverts online and on TV for books let alone in public. Hype is everywhere for the latest Marvel film or the new IPhone, yet books are sadly missing. The issue isn’t with content, as Keith Topping appears to assume – children aren’t dependant on one author, and there are millions of books out there. The issue is getting children to read and continue reading. And until publishers start looking into more visible methods of marketing, targeting those who don’t read rather than those who already do, I think getting children to read will continue to be a problem in society.
On a brighter note, I’ve finally treated myself to my work discount in the books department. I’m currently reading The Hanging Club by Tony Parsons which had me squirming by the third page – my favourite way of telling how much I’m going to enjoy what I’m reading. It’s been a crazy semester so far, balancing uni, USA uni applications, retail work, Quidditch training, and applying for publishing work experience, and I’m looking forward to reading more commercial fiction. I’ve also applied for an internship with Writers’ Centre Norwich and have an interview on Tuesday (eek!). It seems absolutely perfect though, so fingers crossed I don’t mess up my interview and get it. Unfortunately I am giving up on this year’s aim to go to the London Book Fair as I’ll be working all three days. I’m absolutely determined I’ll get there in 2019 though, and maybe one day have my own work bid for #thedream