UK sales of YA dropped 21.5% in 2018
Nielsen figures for 2018 show that sales of YA titles in the UK dropped by 21.5% last year, reports the Bookseller.
The YA fiction sector fell by £6.2 million (A$11.3m) to £22.5 million (A$41.02m) in value—the worst value figure in 11 years for the category—while in terms of volume, the sector dropped by 26.1% to 3.3 million unit sales—a record for the category’s worst-ever volume sales.
According to the Bookseller, trade figures in the UK have suggested that publishers need to acquire fewer YA titles, publish fewer ‘issue’ books and invest more heavily in marketing.
‘As an industry, we overpublish,’ said literary agent Molly Ker Hawn, adding that the ‘brutal’ decline of school libraries in the UK has also affected the YA market, with many schools lacking the budget to buy books and unable to pay a trained librarian.
Author Lucy Ivison, who is also a librarian at a London school, said young people find many YA books being published a bit too ‘worthy’. ‘They go to school all day and they often want something fun in the evenings. We don’t even follow many of the prize lists any more, they just don’t want to read the books,’ said Ivison.
Other concerns raised by trade figures are the lack of publicity opportunities for YA books, low advances offered to YA authors, and a lack of diversity in publishing lists and workforces.