Research company Nielsen held their 2nd Children’s Book Summit in New York last week. Leading lights from the children’s publishing world spent the day looking behind the sales statistics to gain a deeper understanding of today’s children’s book buyers.
Titles with Media Tie-ins Continue to Grow
It’s no surprise that in this media driven world, juvenile titles with tie-ins are huge. This sector has seen compound growth in excess of 180% over the last 3 years and the bubble shows no sign of bursting.
The undoubted queen of this sector is Disney’s Frozen franchise, with over 70% of the fiction tie-in market. The King would be, Minecraft, the computer game which has spawn a range of non-fiction titles and taken a 41% share of the non-fiction tie-in market.
Analysts forecast that with sales in Frozen tie-in’s on the decline, this sector has plenty of room for new titles.
Multi-Cultural Consumers Will Account Over 80% of Total Growth in the US
51% of children under the age of 9 in the USA are multicultural (non-Hispanic white consumers) and Nielsen predicts that 86% of growth in all consumer spending is going to come from this sector of the market. Embracing this market isn’t about making something which is fundamentally different, but about understanding who these consumers are, their life experiences, wants and needs, and tapping into that with new titles and the careful marketing of existing ones.
Young Adult Books are Not Read by Young Adults
Nielsen’s estimate that 80% of readers of YA books are actually adults. The books in this category are clearly selling well, so this is not a case of trashing the sector and starting again, but there is a case to be made for relabelling these titles and spending time looking again at what teen readers really want. Adults who enjoy reading the current range of titles badged as Young Adult should not feel ashamed to read these titles, and young adults don’t want to be told they are not grown up enough to understand themes in literature for adults.