Children’s Book Sales Statistics

Children’s Book Sales Statistics

Children’s book sales in 2021

  • Over the first 6 months of 2021, over 125.3 million children’s print books were sold.
  • This presents an 11.2% increase over the same period in 2021.
  • Children’s book sales had a slower growth compared to the combined growth across all categories, which grew by 18.5%.
  • Through June 2021, juvenile book sales accounted for 32.4% of total book sales over this period.
  • Children’s books’ share in overall sales dropped by 6.1%, as it was standing at 34.5% through June 2020.
  • 72.9% of all children’s books sold in 2021 came from the children’s fiction category, while nonfiction accounted for 27.1% of total sales.
  • Compared to 2020, fiction increased its share in total children’s book sales by 5.9%, jumping from 68.8%.
  • Children’s fiction accounted for 23.6% of total print book sales in 2021, making it the second-highest selling category overall.
  • The growth of sales in juvenile fiction in 2021 over 2020 was 17.8%, jumping from 77.5 to 91.3 million copies sold.
  • Nonfiction faced a 3.2% decline in 2021 over 2020, dropping from 35.13 to 34.01 million copies sold.
  • Children’s nonfiction was the only major category that faced a sales decline in 2021.
  • The share of juvenile nonfiction in total sales dropped from 10.8% in 2020 to 8.8% in 2021.

Children’s book sales by year

  • In 2020, over 262.2 million copies of children’s books were sold, rising by 14.3% compared to 2019.
  • 34.9% of all book sales in 2020 are attributed to children’s books, a 5.6% increase compared to 2019.
  • 2020 was especially good for juvenile nonfiction, which increased its sales by 14.3 million units over 2019. This is a 23.1% increase during this period.
  • Children’s fiction also saw a sales increase in 2020, jumping from 167.3 in 2019 to 185.7 million units sold. This is an 11% increase.
  • Children’s book sales were in a slight decline prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, dropping by 2% from 2017 to 2018, and falling an additional 3% in 2019.
  • Prior to 2018, juvenile books sales faced a gradual increase over at least 3 consecutive years: 0.2% in 2015, 3.3% in 2016, and 3.4% in 2017.
  • The largest share of children’s book sales in total sales was in 2014 when they accounted for 35.5% of all sold units.
  • The lowest share of juvenile book sales in total sales was in 2019, with 33.1%.

Children’s fiction books sales

  • During Q1 of 2021, 91.3 million copies of juvenile fiction books have been sold.
  • If the growth rate over 2020 remains the same, children’s fiction could finish 2021 with over 218.7 million units sold.
  • From 2014 to 2020, over 1.23 billion copies of juvenile fiction have been sold, accounting for 25.8% of total sales over this period.
  • The share of children’s fiction bool sales in overall sales slightly declined over the years, peaking at 27.8% in 2014, and dropping to 24.1% in 2019.
  • 2020 pandemic positively affected sales of juvenile fiction, as sales grew by 11% over 2019.

Children’s nonfiction book sales

  • Before a slight drop in 2021, children’s nonfiction book sales grew by 23.1% during 2020, making it one of the fastest-growing categories during this period.
  • Over 417 million copies of juvenile nonfiction have been sold from 2014 to 2020, with additional 74 million projected sales in 2021.
  • The share of children’s nonfiction sales in total sales was at its highest in 2020, then juvenile nonfiction accounted for 10.2% of all sold units.
  • This huge jump in 2020 could be explained by the change in consumers’ behavior amid the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak. A slight drop in 2021 sales confirms this assumption.

Children’s book sales revenue stats

  • The total revenue of children’s book publishing in 2021 stands at $2.53 billion.
  • This is a 2.1% increase compared to 2020, the smallest rise over the last 3 years.
  • For the 5th consecutive year, children’s book sales revenue was over $2 billion, and it got over this figure in 7 out of the last 11 years.
  • 2021 was also the 6th consecutive year with positive growth in juvenile book sales revenue, jumping from $1.89 billion in 2015.
  • The largest growth in revenue of children’s books was in 2014 when the revenue raised by 18.6% compared to 2013.

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