No, no. Don't groan. These are interesting numbers. Besides, I have to admit to being left-brained sometimes and every once in awhile I just have to give in to the urge.
There was a Publisher’s Weekly article talking about the children's best selling titles and numbers making the rounds a week ago. First of all, I have to say how thrilled I am that this information is out there. Knowledge is power and so often these kinds of numbers and data are kept from the working writer, so it pleases me no end to find them here on the web for all to see. I also found it was highly informative.
The list is broken down into Hardback Sales, frontlist and backlist, then Paperback Sales, frontlist and backlist. (For those who don’t know, frontlist titles are the titles that are new that year, and backlist were published in previous years.)
One of the things I found most fascinating was that of the 217 hardback bestsellers listed, only about 26 of them were middle grade! This shocked me because the middle grade years (ages 8-12) are supposed to be the golden years of reading.
Of the nearly 300 paperbacks, only 70 of them were middle grade. Another shocker when you consider that those include the movie tie ins, etc.
Even sadder? Only about four of all the titles were historical; two of the LUXE books by Anna Godberson, one of the Ranger's Apprentice books (more fantasy, really) and Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. Very sad showing there... ::sniff::
It was also very enlightening for me to see what publishers were putting out the bestsellers. By an overwhelming margin, it was the Big Publishers who produced the Big Sellers. (I did the math, so you won't have to.*)
Random House 116
Little Brown 37
Golden Books 22
St. Martins 14
Houghton Mifflin 8
And so I thought I would share the information with you. What can I say? My father was an accountant; it must be in my DNA.
*Fuzzy, ballpark kind of math.