Publishing Dealmaking: Romance On The Rise


Recently Publishers Marketplace released a report on the book deals made in September. In order to see publishing trends, PM also compared this year's sales to the deals made in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.

This report is a true insider's look into publishing because while there are several sources for reader buying habits, Publishers Marketplace goes behind the scenes to look at the deals made between authors and publishers before the readers are ever involved. By looking at these statistics we can see trends not just today, but because these deals often are made for years ahead, we get a glimpse at what's to come in the industry further down the road.

We break down PW's recent report so that readers, authors and genre fiction fans can understand what it means for them. The following are a few interesting tidbits taken from the report, including some great news for romance authors and readers.

  • Overall, this year's deals are a bit down from last year, with a 5% drop. However, even with this dip, sales are still very robust when compared to 2008-2010. 
  • Nonfiction sales have seen a large decline.
  • Children's sales, including Young Adult and middle grade books, have slowed considerably. 
  • While mystery stories are not selling as well as in previous years, science fiction/fantasy and thrillers are on the rise.
  • Sales in romance and woman's fiction projects have doubled!

Here is the Publishers Marketplace graph that shows adult genre deals made in September during the past 5 years:

September 2012 US Fiction Sales, By Genre 

So what do these numbers mean for readers? The surge of sales prompted by The Hunger Games phenomenon has officially slowed. Romance, and especially erotic romance, is, not surprisingly, the new hot publishing trend (we can say thank the Fifty Shades trilogy for this boom). So readers looking for some steamy reads, get ready for some choice projects to be making their way onto bookshelves and e-readers in the near future.

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