Jeff Kinney’s Wimpy Kid series gets profiled, revealing that it has now joined such publishing behemoths as Twilight and Stieg Larsson – indeed only the late Swedish author beat Kinney as the best selling author in the US last year. The piece expands a bit on how YA publishing is still strong as other genres fade:
Juvenile/YA sales now surpass adult trade fiction and nonfiction sales combined. As recently as 2006, adult trade and juvenile/YA sales were about even at 474 million and 464 million books, respectively. But in 2011, Greco projects that Americans will buy 484 million juvenile/YA books and 411 million adult trade books. He estimates that juvenile/YA revenue will rise $100 million to $3.29 billion in 2011 even as overall print book revenue declines for publishers. While e-book sales have grown more slowly than in adult trade, he projects that will change rapidly during the next two years. Greco has a simple test to drive home the growth of juvenile/YA books: He counts the shelves at bookstores like Barnes & Noble. In 2007, Greco counted 62 shelves and one display table (“dump,” in book lingo) devoted to them at a New York-area store. In April, the same store devoted 92 shelves and four dumps to books from the category.
The piece ends with a look at some of the most successful YA franchise — several of which now have graphic novel components or adaptations. Take heed!