While year-to-date young adult sales are flat compared to 2021’s high watermark, the category is still up nearly 50% over 2019
Port Washington, N.Y., November 21, 2022 – After its best year on record in 2021, the young adult fiction category is maintaining its momentum in 2022. In the 52 weeks ending November 5, 2022, sales of young adult print books in the U.S. grew 3%. While this increase appears modest compared to the high watermark growth of 2021, it represents an increase of over 50% compared to 2019, according to The NPD Group.
“The young adult category has continued its growth trend in 2022,” said Kristen McLean, books industry analyst for NPD. “Growth has been driven by a variety of authors and series, which were supported by BookTok and word-of-mouth discovery. As we approach the key holiday season, it appears that 2022 will be the second-best year on record for the young adult market.”
One of the most notable trends in 2022 has been the diversification of authors in the young adult market. Rather than seeing one or two major authors dominate the top of the market, there is a longer tail of top authors. In fact, there are five times more authors with unit sales over 100,000 in 2022 compared to 2020. In 2020 there were 13 unique authors with sales volume of more than 100,000, whereas in 2022 there are 64.
“What is truly fascinating is that the drivers of growth in 2022 are completely different from what we saw in 2021 and 2020,” McLean said. “The evolution in the category has given it a healthier outlook moving into the key holiday season and into 2023.”