The saga of Percy Jackson in ex-teacher Rick Riordan's Last Olympian - that's what sells. It is the fifth in the series published by Disney Hyperion aimed at the 9 to 12 years of age market.
While others say it may be derivative, children love this modern day view of old myths. Like the Harry Potter series, it empowers the youngsters with the abilities to save their world. Mr. Riordan remembered just how enamored children are of the Mount Olympus myths and gods, and has created a series that is sure to hit the big screen.
So how does this affect you as a writer? It seems everyone wants to write a book for children because they think it's an easy ride. This could not be further from the truth. Many parents know that it takes more than bright colors and an idea to keep a child's attention.
Simply put - write what children want to read. You may have a particular story to tell, however if you are interested in selling a lot of books you have got to write for your audience's preferences. Find what they like and make the story or lesson fit into that creative suit. Mr. Riordan has done a fantastic job of this idea.
Don't hate, emulate.
Click here to read a book excerpt of The Last Olympian in the Wall Street Journal.