Thursday, 21 December 2017

Stare into the Crystal Book Ball of 2018 - Some fun ReadItTorial musings and predictions for the year ahead in kidlit and comics

It's our final ReadItTorial of 2017 here on ReadItDaddy (no, really this time) and we're going to throw our hats into the wind, and try once again to second-guess what we think might be the big trends in children's books, chapter books and comics for 2018 - with a few fun nonsense predictions thrown in for good measure.

We did pretty badly last year (As if POTUS could even write a book, let alone one that would sell three copies!) so if you'd like to tickle yourself with what we got right and what we got wrong, take a look here.

In the meantime though here's ten all new, all singing all dancing predictions for 2018 just as a bit of fun.

1) Fictional Non-fiction will become a thing. No really, we've seen huge leaps in non-fiction titles over the last few years, but very little progress with fictional non-fiction. Hear me out on this one, I think there's a vast untapped market for fiction that is dressed up like your favourite non-fiction titles. Imagine a "Facts about animals" book that went into every gory detail of completely made up animals. Or showed you the inner workings of completely fictional inventions in the sort of detail that would make Dorling Kindersley break into a cold midnight sweat. Fictional Non-Fiction: The next great genre for children's books, you mark my words!

2) Someone accidentally invents a fourth 'story type' for children's books that completely breaks the internet. We've heard so many times that there are just three story types for children's books. The journey taken, the epiphanic happenstance and the 'kitten that needs rescuing' but a fourth hitherto unknown story type, 'the gaseous eventuality of circumstance' is identified and most children's writers try to unpick the potential of this incredible source of inspiration.

3) The John Lewis Christmas Ad is a white background with 'buy stuff' on it - and is accused of plagiarism by B.J. Novak - the author of "The Book With No Pictures". You just cannot win, can you!

4) Scratch and Sniff books make a colossal comeback. They're the new fidget spinners, slime or loom bands (what's a loom band? Anyone? Completely forgotten!) Unfortunately the newly reprinted copies of "Fungus the Bogeyman: Scratch and Sniff Edition" are seized by customs for containing potentially life threatening hazardous material. Rare copies sell for zillions of Bitcoins on Ebay.

5) Someone describes a new and upcoming comedy author as "The Next David Walliams" and is instantly sued by the estate of Roald Dahl. Come on now, credit where credit's due.

6) The government publishing industry sets up a £30 billion 'think tank' to investigate the possibility of a 'Netflix-like' subscription service for books. The idea is to let people try books before buying them through something called a 'lending service', therefore encouraging children and new readers to get into reading at an earlier age, and stick with books through their academic lives.

Several million pounds is then spent on hiring an advertising agency to come up with a brand identity and a snappy new name for the service, and a way of sinking money into setting up dedicated 'bricks and mortar' spaces on the high street where the lending service can operate from. (OK, I know some of these predictions are a bit crazy and 'out there' but hey, you never know!)

7) Print sales continue to blitz digital book sales. (Actually this isn't really a whacky prediction is it, it's absolutely going to happen again in 2018!)

8) Somehow, schools manage to coordinate their own book days with World Book Day, rather than going off and doing their own thing. (Sorry, another one of those "So ludicrous it's just never going to happen" ones, I do apologise!)

9) The 50th anniversary edition of John Wyndham's "Chocky" is published, and becomes one of the biggest sellers of 2018, with Wyndham universally celebrated as 'an overlooked genius'. We live in hope! Kids, if you think nothing scares you, you haven't read this yet so get on it (it also happens to be the 50th anniversary of someone not too far away from this very blog btw, just sayin')

10) We somehow manage to stay on top of all of our reviews, publishing them in a timely fashion, and even manage to get ahead of the curve! (again, not very likely but we will indeed try!)

PHEW! We'll have to revisit these in 2019 and see how many came true. I'm rooting for at least three of these.

All the very best from us, and thank you so much for reading all our ReadItTorials in 2017. We look forward to tickling your inspiration again next year.