The rise of children’s books


The Bookseller has reported that sales of physical children’s books for 2012 were ‘marginally up’ from 2011 figures, according to Neilsen BookScan.

The children’s book sector was up 0.02% to a value of £318.5 million and up 0.9% in volume sales to 61.3 million. Figures like these show how successful children’s books have been over the past year. Young Adult books such as Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy inevitably boosted sales, with the article stating that had Collins’ books not been included in figures the market overall would have been down by 3.3%.

HarperCollins’ David Walliams books were up 97.6% on 2011 and were worth £6.1 million, a figure which could continue to rise especially after the broadcast of the television version of his book Mr. Stink (pictured above) aired over Christmas.

The table comparing children’s publishers sales are included below:


It shows that Scholastic saw the greatest growth of +85.90% against 2011 sales, possibly down to the success of the Hunger Games. With the release of the second film from the franchise later this year and a third one undoubtedly on the way, the franchise is not over yet which is great news for Scholastic.

It can be said that the figures reflecting a minus growth on 2011, shows that those publishers experienced sales which were ‘nearly half e-book driven’, as said by Pan Macmillan Children’s Belinda Rasmussen.

One of the key messages which the article highlights is that ‘2012 has reinforced the importance of brands’, which Penguin Children’s Francesca Dow saying ‘all top brands have another way of connecting with consumers, beyond the book, taking the property to a wider audience’. This is reflected through the surge of children’s ebook sales throughout Christmas week.

Certainly, the article portrays the importance of children’s books and the fact that sales saw an increase last year is fantastic. Perhaps the Happy Meal McDonald’s book promotion will be one of the factors which will help with the sales of children’s books this year. Or perhaps there will be another book which will take the world by storm.

In addition, with the growth of the digital world, it shall be interesting to see how children’s ebooks will evolve over the year, again increasing sales. I personally am excited to see what 2013 holds for the children’s book industry and whether it can live up to the success of 2012.

The Bookseller‘s article.

About ambergunn

English Language and Literature graduate and MA Publishing graduate from Anglia Ruskin University. Production Editor at a STM journal publisher in London. Tea lover, bookworm and metaphor appreciator. View all posts by ambergunn

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