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!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.