Yesterday, a woman came up to me. She said she heard I wrote children’s books. “What did you do before that?” she asked, assuming my vast children book riches allowed me a life of luxurious writing with no other day-to-day job needed.
Unfortunately, very few children authors can give up their day jobs, and most of them make more money giving school visits than they do in actual book earning dollars. I always explain it this way:
- Adult author audience: Ages 19 to 110
- My typical audience: Ages 7-12
So, I have a vastly smaller potential reader population. And very few of them have much in the way of disposable incomes.
So I propose a new reading system. Yes, this is purely in my self-interest, but that’s how the best inventions get created.
Instead of promoting books by age, they should be promoted by height.
- Up to 3 feet: picture books
- 3’ to 4’: Early readers
- 4’ to 5’: Middle grade
- 5’ to 5’ 1”: YA
- 5’ 1” and over: Adult
Just like there are advanced readers by age, there will be short people with more advanced reading levels and very tall infants. But that’s OK. This is a guide.
I also realize that YA now has a very small audience. But I don’t write YA, so I don’t care.
A simple height chart at your book store, such as those found in amusement parks, will help consumers find the right section to shop in.
“Excuse me,” a sales person might say. “You’re too tall for that section.”
“I’m not shopping for myself, but for my short husband.”
“Oh. Then can I suggest these early readers?”
Simple. Convenient. And if you want to browse a more advanced section, just wear platform shoes.