In good news for we writer types, Publisher’s Weekly recently reported that print sales are up in the first half of 2017. Sales for January through June are up 3% over the same time period last year in spite of the fact that there was no new blockbuster best seller for that time period. So what’s leading sales without Harry Potter or another banner title?
The backlist favorite for the time period was the same book that led in 2016 – Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss. Not surprising since it has become a mainstay gift for new graduates but humorous in that it led among both juvenile and adult titles.
Oh, the Places You’ll Go! also led sales in juvenile books which also benefitted from sales of Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher which sold approximately 500,000 copies in two editions. But the leading category in juvenile books? Fiction titles about animals saw a 21% increase. 21%!
Juvenile nonfiction saw a 4% increase over the first half of 2016. Again, backlist helped and this time was led by First 100 Words by Roger Priddy, which sold almost 195,000 copies.
Publisher’s Weekly also reported that board books continue to sell well, 2017 up 10% from the same period in 2016.
How can we use this information? Well, I wouldn’t recommend attempting to write like Dr. Seuss or ride on Jay Asher’s coat tails. But if you have a piece of fiction that is all about animals, crop some of this information into your cover letter. And I’d use the numbers when submitting a board book as well.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a fiction title featuring exotic pets that needs to find a home!