Led by hits from David Walliams, Jeff Kinney and Egmont’s Minecraft stable, the UK children’s market hit an all-time high in revenue and market share in 2014, and exceeded sales of Adult Fiction for the first time since accurate records began.
Children’s print sales through Nielsen BookScan’s Total Consumer Market were £336.5m for the 52 weeks to 27th December 2014, figures collected for the first of four Bookseller Reviews of the Year reveal. That is a 9.1% rise year on year, and exceeds the previoushigh-water mark for BookScan’s Children’s category, 2009’s £329.7m.
For the first time since BookScan records began in 1998, nearly £1 in every £4 spent on print books (24%) was on a children’s title; the previous high in market share was 2013’s 21.7%.
Thirteen children’s titles sold more than £1m through the TCM last year, led by Walliams’ Awful Auntie (HarperCollins Children’s Books, £3.3m), Minecraft: The Official Construction Handbook (Egmont, £2.6m) and Kinney’s The Long Haul (£2.3m).
For the first time, Children’s sales climbed above Adult Fiction, which slumped -5.3% to £321.3m. That is the fifth straight year the print fiction market has declined. Since 2010, the overall print market has declined massively, down 18.9% or £324m. In that time Adult Fiction has dropped by 29% (-154.9m) while Children’s has increased by 3.2% (+£10.7m).