- 35.03 million print copies of young adult (YA) books are sold each year as of 2022.
- Compared to 2021, this is a 0.74% decrease, dropping from 35.29 million copies sold.
- 30.91 million young adult books sold in 2022 were fiction books, while 4.11 million were nonfiction.
- Young adult books have been the fastest-growing category over the last 5 years, with print unit sales jumping by 48.2% since 2018.
- This especially applies to YA nonfiction, which grew by 62.7% from 2018.
- YA books benefited from the pandemic when sales grew by 24.7% in 2020 and 27.5% in 2021.
- As of 2022, young adult books account for 4.58% of all book sales. This makes YA the smallest category within age groups.
- However, young adult books are on the rise, and their share in total book sales increased from 3.43% in 2018, which is a 34% increase.
- Along with children’s books, the young adult segment is worth $11.34 billion globally as of 2022.
- This category is expected to grow by 3.5% annually and reach $13.02 billion in value in 5 years.
- YA book market is projected to grow faster than the rest of the categories over the next 5 years.
YA consumer structure
- Over half of the people (55%) who buy YA books don’t follow into the YA category but are over 18 years old.
- 51% of YA book buyers over 18 years of age are between 30 and 44 years old, accounting for 28% of all buyers.
- 78% of over-18 buyers are purchasing books with the intention of reading them themselves.
- Most of the over-18 YA book buyers purchased at least one of the books from the Hunger Games series, 30% of them.
- Only 2 other titles account for over 5% of total YA book sales, while the rest is divided between over 220 titles.
- Over 40% of YA consumers are reported to read ebooks, making them a group with the highest ebook purchasing rate across all genres, adults included.
- 71% of those who buy YA ebooks stated that they’d buy a printed copy if the ebook version is not available.
- 66% of YA readers state that enjoying the author’s previous books have a big influence on the next purchase.
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Best-selling young adult books of all time
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling is the best-selling young adult book of all time, selling over 120 million copies.
- The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien also sold over 100 million copies.
- All other Harry Potter series titles by J. K Rowling and The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger sold upwards of 65 million copies each.
- The Hobbit is the oldest young adult book on the list, published in 1937.
(*Other titles may be excluded due to sales reporting differences.)
|#||Title||Author||Year published||Page count||Estimated copies sold*|
|1||Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone||J. K. Rowling||1997||223||120 million|
|2||The Hobbit||J. R. R. Tolkien||1937||310 ||100 million|
|3||Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets||J. K. Rowling||1998||251||77 million|
|4||Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban||J. K. Rowling||1999||317||65 million|
|5||Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire||J. K. Rowling||2000||636||65 million|
|6||Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix||J. K. Rowling||2003||766||65 million|
|7||Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince||J. K. Rowling||2005||672||65 million|
|8||Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows||J. K. Rowling||2007||607||65 million|
|9||The Catcher in the Rye||J. D. Salinger||1951||234||65 million|
|10||Looking for Alaska||John Green||2005||297||45 million|
|11||To Kill a Mockingbird||Harper Lee||1960||281||40 million|
|12||The Hunger Games||Suzanne Collins||2008||374||28 million|
|13||Lord of the Flies||William Golding||1954||224||25 million|
|14||The Fault in Our Stars||John Green||2012||313||23 million|