As teen entertainment options continue to multiply, traditional media outlets like the publishing industry must find a way to continually replenish their connection with the demo. To this end, some key players in the book world are going to the source and asking teens what they want to read.
This fall, Scholastic School Book Clubs established its first teen advisory board to find out what’s registering on the young adult radar. The group is comprised of 10 young teens chosen this month via an essay-writing contest plugged by the Tab book club for grades seven through nine in September. The board will go to New York for its first confab in January, and advisors will review books for Tab, ‘becoming intensely involved in the book selection process,’ says Maggie Kneip, SSBC’s director of creative marketing and special projects. The company will keep in touch with these teens via e-mail during the year, and will select a new board next fall.
Book and music retailer Borders also launched a focus group initiative this fall to pick teen brains on what’s hot in print. The store chain is planning to use teen input to fine-tune its stock, as well as to choose which books to put a push behind with promotional signage and displays.