The Bookseller reports that the children’s book market continues to outpace other publishing sectors, with a staggered drift to digital and strong growth in brands the prime drivers.
Ahead of the Bologna Book Fair (24th–27th March), analysis of Nielsen BookScan Top 5,000 data shows the children’s market in 2014 is up by just under a million units at this point compared to the first 11 weeks in 2013 (9.67 million copies versus 8.69 million last year), while value sales have risen £3.2m (or 8.1%) to £42.2m. Overall market data for January shows the sector up 14.3%.
This growth is mainly down to some new authors and properties, plus the continued strong performances of established superstars.
Egmont’s deal to publish the Minecraft tie-in books was the breakout move of late 2013, and continues to gather speed. The Official Redstone Handbook (99,475 units for £514,630) and The Official Beginner’s Handbook (89,945 for almost £474,479) are the two bestselling books of the year in volume and value terms.
But Jeff Kinney and David Walliams are also boosting the numbers. Kinney has shifted £1.8m so far in 2014, £500,000 up on 2013, while Walliams is level with his very strong start to 2013 (£1.37m in 2014; £1.4m in 2013).
While some publishers say that the young adult market was saturated, certain titles continue to sell well. Divergent author Veronica Roth’s sales are showing huge growth, up 1,096% at this point against 2013, and worth nearly £500,000, with the film of the first book in the series released in April.
Waterstones said children’s was a “big priority” in its store refurbishment programme; it plans to create more space for children’s books and related products in its stores. J