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Children's Publishing Market Forecast 2012


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

Now in its sixth edition, Children’s Publishing Market Forecast 2012 continues its tradition of providing an accurate and independent perspective on where the market for children’s books is headed as well as analysis of market opportunities and pitfalls. How are publishers battling challenges such as an overall decline in reading, returns of unsold stock from retailers, the intensifying battle for shelf space, and the perplexing question of e-books pertaining to the segment?

Armed with an archive of trade book data that goes back more than 30 years, Simba’s team of seasoned trade book analysts examines the market for children’s books segment by segment, from youngsters to tweens to teens. In addition, Children’s Publishing Market Forecast 2012 provides high-quality, unbiased market intelligence on the publishing houses, and the entire retail landscape, from independent bookstores to online outlets to big box stores.

Gain access to exclusive statistics and analysis such as:

  • An in-depth look at bestselling children’s books drawn from the USA Today, Publishers Weekly and New York Times lists, with breakdowns of top-performing titles, authors, imprints and a comprehensive category ranking of which books are selling and which are not.
  • Children’s e-book trend data culled from Simba’s Trade E-Book Publishing 2011
  • Expanded analysis of the most vital facet of children’s publishing: series books.
  • Results from Simba’s surveys of independent retailers across the country rating different books and genres; as well as info on buyer profiles and behaviors.
  • Exclusive five-year category trends for 15 major juvenile categories.

Children’s Publishing Market Forecast 2012 includes detailed strategic and financial profiles of companies such as Candlewick Press, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Holtzbrinck, Houghton Mifflin, Penguin Group, Random House, Scholastic and Simon & Schuster.

This report is a critical tool in evaluating growth potential, understanding trends affecting the industry, sizing up the competition, reviewing potential partner or acquisition profiles, examining market share rankings of leading publishers, benchmarking performance, and planning short- and long-term growth strategies.

Children’s Publishing Market Forecast 2012 is essential for publishing executives, M&A advisors, market analysts, and industry consultants who need to understand the business strategies driving the children’s trade book publishing industry today.

Simba senior trade book analyst Michael Norris has been tapped by the New York Times, TIME and USA Today and other publications to discuss industry trends and bestseller data for the adult and children's publishing markets. Have this firsthand intelligence at your fingertips to understand buyer habits, the significance of series, and where the strengths and weaknesses lie for the top imprints in children’s and young adult publishing today.


Stamford, CT - October 13, 2011 - A recent report by media and publishing forecast firm Simba Information expects the growth of the multibillion-dollar children's and young adult publishing market in the U.S. will be stunted in 2012 as the industry adjusts to a smaller book retailing footprint.

"Since the last edition of this report we've seen a larger number of adults buying children's books as gifts and more categories of children's books represented on bestseller lists, which is good news," said Michael Norris, senior analyst of Simba Information's Trade Books Group, commenting on the report. "The bad news is this industry is heading into its first holiday shopping season in 40 years without Borders Group as a retail partner. At this time last year, Borders had over 670 locations and about three-quarters of those were superstores. The absence of so many places to discover and buy books is going to be felt for quite a while."

According to the report, children's electronic books are still but a fraction of the market-though publishers continue to experiment with the format on platforms such as the PC, the iPad, Barnes & Noble's Nook Color and Amazon's Kindle devices. A comparatively small handful of young adult titles such as Stephenie Meyers' Twilight saga and Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games series-which are often bought and read by adults-do very well as e-books. On a whole, the children's/YA market still depends on print books-and a complicated connection between the publisher and the increasingly hard-to-reach reader.

"Adults buy the vast majority of juvenile books and give them to their children as gifts," Norris said. "Where it gets tricky is a lot of kids, particularly as they become teenagers, are more likely to read if they can choose the books themselves. Since a lot of children only spend a few minutes a week, on average, reading for leisure, parents need to sell them on the activity of reading without choosing a book that their child won't like. Anyone can make a child read, but getting a child to value reading is what's crucial for the future of this industry."

The report, Children's Publishing Market Forecast 2012, shows an exclusive, multi-year category analysis of more than a dozen key segments of the industry, a detailed demographic overview of children's book buyers, estimates on the market size of the industry through 2012, and much more.

  • Methodology
  • Executive Summary
  • Overview of the U.S.Children's Book Market and Buyer Demographics
    • Table Who Is Buying Most of the Children's/YA Titles in Your Store?
    • Table When parent(s) or adults are buying a children's/YA Book, who is it usually?
    • Table Who is the second most likely adult buying Children's/YA books at your store?
    • Table Overview of Book Purchasing Population (U.S. Adults), Adults Who Have Purchased Children's Books (No. of adults, total sample in 000)
    • Table Overview of Book Purchasing Population (U.S. Adults), Adults With Children in Household Who Have Purchased Children's Books (No. of adults, total sample in 000)
    • Table Overview of Book Purchasing Population (U.S. Adults), Women W/Children in Household Who Have Purchased Children's Books (No. of adults, total sample in 000)
    • Table Overview of Book Purchasing Population (U.S. Adults): Men W/Children in Household Who Have Purchased Children's Books (No. of adults, total sample in 000)
    • Table Overview of Book Purchasing Population (U.S. Adults), Grandparents Who Have Purchased Children's Books (No. of adults, total sample in 000)
    • Table Overview of Book Purchasing Population (U.S. Adults), Grandmothers Have Purchased Children's Books (No. of adults, total sample in 000)
    • Table Overview of Book Purchasing Population (U.S. Adults), Grandfathers Who Have Purchased Children's Books (No. of adults, total sample in 000)
    • Table Describe the Gender Mix of Children's/YA Book Buyers at Your Store
    • Table Overview of Book Purchasing Population (U.S. Adults): Buyers of Books by Gender
    • Table Overview of Book Purchasing Population (U.S. Adults): Buyers of Books by Race
    • Table Overview of Book Purchasing Population (U.S. Adults): Buyers of Books by Age Bracket
    • Table Overview of Book Purchasing Population (U.S. Adults): Buyers of Books by Education Level
    • Table Overview of Book Purchasing Population (U.S. Adults): Buyers of Books by Household Income
    • Table Overview of Book Purchasing Population (U.S. Adults): Buyers of Books by Employment Status
    • Table Overview of Book Purchasing Population (U.S. Adults): Buyers of Books by Region
    • Table Overview of Book Buying Population (U.S. Adults): Children's Book Buyers by Kind of Residence
    • Table Overview of Book Buying Population (U.S. Adults): Book/Comic Consumers by Marital Status
    • Table Overview of Book Buying Population (U.S. Adults): Children's Book Buyers by Household Children Population
    • Table Overview of Book Buying Population (U.S. Adults): Book Consumers by Age of Children in Household
  • Trends in Children's Book Publishing
    • Table Growth in Juvenile Trade vs. Adult Trade (in 000)
    • Table Bookstores Compare the First-Half Performances of Adult Trade and Juvenile, 2011 vs. 2010
    • Table Percentage of Children Who Read Almost Every Day for Fun
    • Table Average Amount of Time Spent Reading Print Media (Books)
    • Table A Day In The Life of an 8-18-Year-Old Media Consumer
    • Table Cell Phone Content Allocation For Children
    • Table Class Share of Bestsellers, 2009 (Titles on Amazon, Sony and Barnes & Noble bestseller lists)
    • Table Class Share of Bestsellers, 2010 (Titles on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Sony bestseller lists)
    • Table NYT/USA Today Children's Bestsellers, July 2008-June 2009
    • Table NYT/USA Today Children's Bestsellers, July 2009-June 2010
    • Table NYT/USA Today Children's Bestsellers, July 2010-June 2011
    • Table Top Ten E-Books, 2009 and 2010
    • Table Scholastic Revenue, FY2001-2011 (in millions of U.S. dollars)
    • Table Average Bestselling Titles per Author
    • Table What Format of Children's/YA Has Been a Particularly Strong Performer in the First Half of 2008-2009-2010-2011?
    • Table Top 10 Trade Categories (2006-2010)
    • Table How Would You Rate the Following Formats of Children's Books in Terms of How They Sell? (7=best; 1=worst)
    • Table Children's Titles on Weekly Bestseller Lists (NYT, USA Today)
    • Table When Looking at Children's and Young Adult Titles Separately, How Would You Say Your Business Is Trending?
  • Leading Authors, Books and Imprints
    • Table No. of New Children's/YA Titles Appearing on NYT & USA Today Bestseller Lists, July 2006-June 2011
    • Table Top 20 New York Times Series, July 2010-June 2011 (out of 53 total)
    • Table Top 20 New York Times Series Authors, July 2010-June 2011 (out of 47 total)
    • Table Top New York Times Series Imprints, July 2010-June 2011 (out of 28 total)
    • Table Top 20 USA Today Bestsellers, July 2010-June 2011 (out of 217 total)
    • Table Top 20 USA Today Authors, July 2010-June 2011 (out of 115 total)
    • Table Top 20 USA Today Imprints, July 2010-June 2011 (out of 60 total)
    • Table Top 20 Authors, July 2009-June 2010 (out of 195 total)
    • Table Top 20 Authors, July 2010-June 2011 (out of 230 total)
    • Table Top 20 Imprints, July 2010-June 2011 (out of 91)
    • Table Leading Children's Book Publishers, Two-Year Comparison July 2009-June 2011 (sorted by total ranking)
    • Table Comparison of Publishers, July 2010-June 2011 (sorted by total ranking)
  • Market Sizing and Forecasts
    • Table Harry Potter-Only Revenue, Scholastic
    • Table Revenue Growth, Children's Trade Book Market, 2008-2012P (in billions)
    • Table Leading Children's Publishers, 2009-2013P ($ in millions)
    • Table AAP Results: Children's/YA Category Net Sales ($ in millions)
    • Table AAP Results: Children's/YA Category Returns ($ in millions)
  • Category Trends
    • Table Leading Children's Book Categories by No. of Bestselling Titles,July 2007-June 2008 (out of 66 total)
    • Table Leading Children's Book Categories by No. of Bestselling Titles, July 2008-June 2009 (out of 61 total)
    • Table Leading Children's Book Categories by No. of Bestselling Titles,July 2009-June 2010 (out of 66 total)
    • Table Leading Children's Book Categories by No. of Bestselling Titles,July 2010-June 2011 (out of 71 total)
    • Table Leading USA Today Children's Book Categories by No. of Bestselling Titles, July 2008-June 2009 (out of 51 total)
    • Table Leading USA Today Children's Book Categories by No. of Bestselling Titles, July 2009-June 2010 (out of 45 total)
    • Table Leading USA Today Children's Book Categories by No. of Bestselling Titles, July 2010-June 2011 (out of 50 total)
    • Table New Children's/YA Titles vs. All New Titles Released, 2006-2010
    • Table Select Category Ratings, Six-Year Overview (ranked alphabetically)
    • Table Action & Adventure Bestseller Performance
    • Table Vital Statistics - Action & Adventure
    • Table Animals Bestseller Performance
    • Table Vital Statistics - Animals
    • Table Family & Relationships Bestseller Performance
    • Table Vital Statistics - Family & Relationships
    • Table Fantasy Bestseller Performance
    • Table Vital Statistics - Fantasy
    • Table Graphic Novel Bestseller Performance
    • Table Vital Statistics - Graphic Novel
    • Table History Bestseller Performance
    • Table Vital Statistics - History
    • Table Horror Bestseller Performance
    • Table Vital Statistics - Horror
    • Table Horror & Ghost Bestseller Performance
    • Table Vital Statistics - Horror & Ghost
    • Table Humor Bestseller Performance
    • Table Vital Statistics - Humor
    • Table People & Places Bestseller Performance
    • Table Vital Statistics - People & Places
    • Table Religion Bestseller Performance
    • Table Vital Statistics - Religion
    • Table Schools & Education Bestseller Performance
    • Table Vital Statistics - Schools & Education
    • Table Science Fiction Bestseller Performance
    • Table Vital Statistics - Science Fiction
    • Table Social Issues Bestseller Performance
    • Table Vital Statistics - Social Issues
    • Table Social Science Bestseller Performance
    • Table Vital Statistics - Social Science
  • Distribution and Retail Sales
    • Table Overview of Book Purchasing Population (U.S. Adults), Sales Channel Trends (No. of adults in 000)
    • Table Number of Stores, Big Three vs. Big Box
    • Table Bestselling Children's Books at Select Retail Store Web Sites, 2011
    • Table Revenue Growth, Leading Bookstore Chains, Fiscal 2006-2010 ($ in 000)
    • Table Leading Bookstore Chains Revenue Growth, 2006-2010
    • Table Growth in Superstore Sales, Major Retail Chains, 2006-2010 ($ in millions)
    • Table Big Three Bookstore Chains Operating Performance, 2006-2010 ($ in millions)
    • Table Number of Superstore Outlets, 2006-2010
    • Table Amazon's Media Sales vs. Electronics Sales As a Percentage of Total Sales, 2007-2010
    • Table Revenue of Leading Online Booksellers, 2006-2010 ($ in millions)
    • Table Overview of Book Purchasing Population (U.S. Adults), Channel by Type of Book Buyer (No. of adults in 000)
    • Table Overview of Book Purchasing Population (U.S. Adults), Channel by Type of Book Buyer (No. of adults in 000)
  • Forecasts and Conclusions
    • Table Things Parents Have Done in Relation to Child's Reading Habits
    • Table Revenue Growth, Children's Trade Book Market, 2006-2011P (in billions)
  • Profiles of Leading Children's Book Publishers
    • Table Consolidated Bestseller Data: Candlewick Press
    • Table Publisher Snapshot: Candlewick
    • Table Candlewick Bestseller Performance, July 2009–June 2010
    • Table Consolidated Bestseller Data: Disney Publishing Worldwide
    • Table Publisher Snapshot: Disney Publishing Worldwide
    • Table Disney Publishing Worldwide/Hyperion Books for Children Bestseller Performance, July 2009-June 2010
    • Table Consolidated Bestseller Data: Hachette Book Group
    • Table Publisher Snapshot: Hachette Book Group
    • Table Hachette Book Group Bestseller Performance, July 2009-June 2010
    • Table Consolidated Bestseller Data: HarperCollins Publishers
    • Table Publisher Snapshot: HarperCollins Children's Books
    • Table HarperCollins Children's Books Performance, July 2009-June 2010
    • Table Consolidated Bestseller Data: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    • Table Publisher Snapshot: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Trade & Reference
    • Table Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Bestseller Performance, July 2009-June 2010
    • Table Consolidated Bestseller Data: Macmillan
    • Table Publisher Snapshot: Macmillan*
    • Table Macmillan Bestseller Performance, July 2009-June 2010
    • Table Consolidated Bestseller Data: Penguin Group (USA)
    • Table Publisher Snapshot: Penguin Group (USA)
    • Table Penguin Group USA Bestseller Performance, July 2009-June 2010
    • Table Consolidated Bestseller Data: Random House
    • Table Publisher Snapshot: Random House
    • Table Random House Children's Books Bestseller Performance, July 2009-June 2010
    • Table Consolidated Bestseller Data: Scholastic
    • Table Publisher Snapshot: Scholastic
    • Table Scholastic Bestseller Performance, July 2009-June 2010
    • Table Consolidated Bestseller Data: Simon & Schuster
    • Table Publisher Snapshot: Simon & Schuster
    • Table Simon & Schuster Children's Books Bestseller Performance, July 2009 - June 2010

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