Allen & Unwin has created a new children’s imprint called Albert Street Books, which will have a ‘strong commercial focus’. The publisher says its aim is to publish books for babies to 12-year-olds that are ‘warm and charming, funny and friendly, and easy to sell, to buy, and to love’. Among the imprint’s first titles are A First Time for Everything from media personalities Tiffiny Hall and Ed Kavalee—‘a hilarious and relatable story that perfectly captures all the messy, glorious chaos of a baby’s first year’—and Little Nic’s Big Day by Australian Rules footballer Nic Naitanui.
Aaron Blabey’s ‘The Bad Guys’ series (Scholastic) has recently topped the New York Times weekly chart for bestselling children’s series, ahead of Dav Pilkey’s ‘Dog Man’ (Scholastic) and Jeff Kinney’s ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ (Puffin). Since the first book was released in 2015, ‘The Bad Guys’ has been published in 37 countries and sold over seven million copies, with a film adaptation also in the works. The latest in the series, The Big Bad Wolf, is currently in first place in the Australian children’s fiction bestsellers charts.
Much has been written about the state of YA adult fiction in recent months, with the Bookseller reporting a significant decline in YA fiction sales in the UK in 2018. In Australia, the decline has been much less pronounced, and while US titles continue to dominate, the Australian charts are seeing a resurgence in frontlist titles, reports Jackie Tang.