Stephenie Meyer takes huge bite out of UK book trade in first half

<p>Stephenie Meyer was worth more than &pound;12m to the UK book trade in the first half of 2009, according to Nielsen BookScan. Her success has helped propel the young adult fiction genre into the fastest growing sector of the retail book market. By contrast fitness and diet books, food and drink titles, and memoirs have become the worst performers.</p><p>In the week that Meyer&#39;s <em>Twilight</em> sold its one-millionth copy in the UK, analysis of the first half of the year showed that Meyer has helped her UK publisher Little, Brown record sales growth of 40.4% (&pound;35.5m), while the young adult fiction category has now become the fastest growing sector, with revenue growth of 123% (&pound;19.4m). Its growth is more than double that of the politics and government genre, which has grown 46% year-on-year, thanks chiefly to Obama-mania.<br /><br />The figures, from Nielsen BookScan&#39;s Total Consumer Market for the 24 weeks to 13th June, showed that across the market sales were down just 1.3% year-on-year at &pound;684.2m, despite tough comparisons with 2008, when the trade had hits from the likes of Delia Smith, and Katie Price, as well as a fully functioning Richard and Judy Book Club.<br /><br />Meyer has helped her publisher Hachette grow its market share, and pull away from nearest rival Random House, the pair now standing at 16.1% and 13.1% respectively. But neither Hachette, nor its subsidiary Little, Brown, are among the fastest growing publishers in the first half: Canongate with revenue of growth of almost 200%, and Grove Atlantic, with growth of 117% lead the top five. Titan Books, Sweet &amp; Maxwell, and John Blake have all seen growth above 50%. Of the top 10 publishers, only Hachette and Oxford University Press have grown sales, while Wiley&#39;s have remained flat. <br /><br />Philip Stone, charts editor of <em>The Bookseller</em>, said: &quot;Although the bottom line is that book sales are down 1.3% on last year, there are some genres bucking the trend. The economics sector is performing incredibly well, spurned on by people keen to understand the current crisis. The poetry sector has been buoyed by a popular new Laureate and a BBC poetry season. And the &#39;pet memoir&#39; is the new &#39;mis mem&#39;.&quot;</p>