What do you think is the outlook for children's writers in the LDS market? Any hope of publishing picture books, early readers, chapter books, or MG novels? Lisa Peck seems to be doing well with the CTR series. Do you think there's room for more series books for kids?
Do publishers shy away from children's books because of the cost production factor or because the market is simply too small?
Do you think there's a way to create more desire for children's books in the LDS market?
I always grimace a little when I read questions like this because there is no easy or good answer. I wish I could say that the LDS children's market was in an upswing but I'm not seeing it.
Yes, publishers have to look at the cost of production vs expected sales levels when considering any book. It is the rare children's book that balances out. They cost a lot to produce. The market is simply too small. The bigger publishers can afford the risk. The smaller ones are going to have to really have their socks blown off to take the chance. Children's books do not sell as well as adult books. Fiction does not sell as well as non-fiction. A fiction children's book has several strikes against it even before the envelope hits the slush pile.
But don't despair. Please don't let the market as it is stop you from writing your children's books. We NEED good, solid, LDS children's books--especially at the middle reader level.
As for series books, if you take a look at DBs online popularity rating of middle readers, you'll notice that there are several LDS series books in the top 100. And as a publisher, I'd much rather take a chance on a children's book that was part of, or could be made into, a series, than a stand-alone.
How do you create a desire for the LDS children's market? Same as for any market. You need a fantastic manuscript, a brave publisher and an enthused marketing department.