Dominique Raccah, CEO of Sourcebooks publishers, spoke to GoodEReader at Digital Book World about the trends in enhanced digital content, especially as they pertain to an older audience of juvenile readers. With so much content being produced for young readers with integrated features like games and coloring books, it often feels like the middle grade and young adult readers are left to fend for themselves. That’s an interesting perception in the industry given that Bowker recently released information that teenagers are currently the age-group demographic least like to adopt digital reading on devices.
But Sourcebooks, who works very closely with Scholastic, Inc., one of the largest children’s publishers in the world, has been working on some new initiatives aimed at the middle grade and YA audience to bring interactive features to their reading but in a meaningful and age-appropriate way.
But unlike add-on features like read-aloud narration and graphics that can be manipulated, content for a slightly older audience can’t just be sound effects and pictures. Older juvenile readers are capable of higher levels of critical thinking and their tastes in interactive content demonstrates that. Some of the enhanced content that is already making its way to market includes online world building scenarios that embed the reader into the text in order to problem solve or manipulate the actual storyline. Web-based extras like those attached the The 39 Clues series and The Infinity Ring give the readers tangible clues and codes from the text that open up the story in whole new ways.
Raccah spoke very eloquently during the panel discussion about the future of publishing on a variety of exciting ways that publishing will adapt to the technology, and in her remarks to GoodEReader she assured us that whole new opportunities are coming out that have yet to be even imagined by reading audiences, regardless of their ages.