Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Ages on books for the young

There's a scheme afoot among British publishers and the larger booksellers to include an age range on every book for children and young people.
This, of course, is a crass marketing ploy. The argument seems to be that adults buying books for the young want to know the age suitability of a book without either having to read it and make the judgement for themselves or asking a professional.
Needless to say, I'm against this scheme on educational and literary grounds and dissociate myself from it. Which is not to say that I can stop my publishers from going ahead and doing it if they want to. There's usually a clause in an author's contract with a publisher that gives the publisher the right to publicise and market the books in whatever way they think best.
The scheme has caused so much upset among authors, illustrators, and others interested in books for the young that a protest is being organised. A statement of objection can be signed by anyone who is against this retrograde move.
If you want to read the reasons for our objections, and to add your name to the growing list of those objecting, go to: http://www.notoagebanding.org/