Maybe I ought to have investigated this properly before jumping right in and making statements. But I’m lazy.
As a liker of lists I often look at the selling lists in The Bookseller and in Publishing News. There’s one, listing the twenty most sold children’s books during the past week. And it makes me want to cry.
On behalf of bookshops I’m obviously glad they sell anything at all. But out of the twenty it’s something like a third only that actually has an author name next to the title. All others are Doctor Who this or Pirates of the Caribbean that. So they are more toys than books.
The most reliably found authors tend to be Jacqueline Wilson, Anthony Horowitz, Cathy Cassidy, Darren Shan, Francesca Simon. I like these people and their books, but where are all the other good books? If these authors are to drive even a Fiesta, they need to sell.
Children’s books are so cheap, at least the paperbacks. More people could afford to buy more books. Book books, not film tie-ins.
I like Shrek. But I prefer him in the cinema and not on my bookshelves.