We won’t have the full picture until sometime in 2015, but as it stands right now, book publishing had a profitable year in 2014. In the face of constant fighting between the Big 5 publishers and Amazon, book sales are up across all categories by 4.9 percent, according to the Association of American Publishers (AAP).
Even trade sales, as it turns out, are up 2.8 percent this year. And — in a turn of events that should surprise no one — those trade sales were buoyed by a substantial increase in sales of Young Adult and Children’s books, up 22.4 percent over 2013. When you also consider that religious-press books are up by a meager 2.1 percent, and that, horrifyingly, Adult Fiction/Non-Fiction is down by 3.3 percent over last year, it becomes obvious that YA/Children’s books are keeping the industry out of the red.
Ebook sales — which were thought to be declining — are up by 5.6 percent in trade. Hardback sales are down a percentage point, while paperbacks are still strong at an increase of 4.9 percent.
But here’s where things get curious: ebook sales are up by nearly 53 percent in the YA/Children’s book category.
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It now seems clear that the healthiest market for trade books in 2014 includes adults who buy ebook versions of YA/Children’s books. In a way, these numbers retroactively justify a year of debates over the distinction between children, teenagers, and adults.
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Although it remains to be seen how the dominance of serial fiction has affected the publishing industry in 2014, we do know that Amazon’s list of 2014 best-sellers featured a majority of fiction serials. It’s no secret that among the subsections of trade books listed by the AAP, YA and Children’s books are the more likely to feature serial storylines.
Link to the rest at Flavorwire and thanks to Meryl for the tip.