Friday, July 11, 2008

Penguin and The Generational Chasm

I wrote about the Generational Chasm between the current book reader generation and the youth market in a post several weeks ago. (Happily it has proven quite popular). In that article I stressed that the old publishing model is not transferable simply because the content is available in e-book form. I noted that Harpercollins is exploring different ways to build new content and interaction with their younger consumer base and news comes now of a similar effort by Penguin to tap this market in a new way. The following is a report on the Penguin blog site about Spinebreakers:
The site is an online community created by teens, for teens as a platform where they can share their love of reading and other creative mediums. The site showcases some of the most unique stories, poetry, songs and videos, all in an attempt to unite and encourage youths to read more and stand tall in their belief that reading is cool. I personally think such a site is much needed and is a breath of fresh air, especially when England has fast become a place for teen violence and crime, and using one’s imagination in a positive manner has now been replaced with the ease of picking a fight. Spinebreakers is going offline at an up and coming road-show at the Roundhouse Studios in Chalk Farm, on the 25th of July. I have been fortunate enough to work on this event which will be inviting sixty teens to sign up and participate in three brilliant workshops which will include learning to use film equipment and creating a mini film on the day with Anton Saunders.

Also of note on the Spinebreakers site (and there is a lot), you might want to avoid Bath in September when there will be hordes of teenagers descending on the old Roman city to engage in a festival about Books. It could be violent, there could be some agro but old folks better leave town:

At this year’s Bath Festival of Children's Literature, Penguin Books are teaming up with young people in Bath to create a groundbreaking event run for – and by – teenagers. From poster design to the layout of the venue, this is an event where YOU call the shots. Opportunities for you include:
Working with top-name teen authors Meg Rosoff and Marcus Sedgewick
Deciding the format of the event, eg live music, food, DJs
Choosing the venue, eg theatre, coffee shop, out on the street (!)
Deciding how the event is promoted with a real budget to organise the event
Free books
A chance to work with Penguin, the UK’s leading publisher and a real opportunity to have YOUR voice heard
To get involved, you will need to be oozing with enthusiasm, available to attend 2-3 creative meetings in Bath between now and September and be prepared to create the most cutting-edge event at this year’s festival

Well done to the Penguin folk.
(Hat tip to Brantley - again).

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