Instapoets Rekindling U.S. Poetry Book Sales, The NPD Group Says

April is National Poetry Month in bookstores – and on social media, too.

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y., April 5, 2018 – The rising popularity of poetry on social media is driving a resurgence  in poetry book sales in the United States. In fact according to global information company The NPD Group, twelve of the top 20 bestselling poetry authors in 2017 were “Instapoets,” who combine their original poetry with images, creating highly shareable posts on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and other social media platforms. In fact, almost half (47 percent) of poetry books sold in the U.S. last year were written by Instapoets. Alongside the rise in Instapoets, the poetry book category in the United States has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 21 percent since 2015, making it one of the fastest growing categories in publishing.

“Social media is allowing poets to share their work with a larger, younger and more diverse audience,” said Kristen McLean, books industry analyst for The NPD Group.  “Instapoet Rupi Kaur’s first collection, ‘Milk and Honey’ sold more than one million copies last year, making it the bestselling poetry title. While Homer was still the best-selling classical poet, Instapoet star Kaur sold ten times as many books as Homer in 2017. In addition, two of the top 20 poets in 2017, Gabbie Hanna and Atticus, had never been published before last year, but they already had a strong following on Instagram, which gave them an impressive start for newly published authors.”

According to the information from NPD Bookscan, the following table lists the top 20 poets, based on unit sales in the U.S., and identifies the poets who are also Instapoets:

Top 20 Bestselling Poets in 2017
Author/Poet Instapoet
Rupi Kaur ü
R. H. Sin ü  
Amanda  Lovelace  
Mary Oliver  
Gabbie Hanna ü
Atticus ü
Pablo Neruda  
Robert M. Drake ü
Emily Dickinson  
pleasefindthis (Ian. S. Thomas) ü
Dante Alighieri  
Kahlil Gibran  
Courtney Peppernell ü
Seamus Heaney  
Lang Leav ü
Charles Bukowski  
Pierre Alex Jeanty ü
Tyler Knott Gregson ü
Reyna Biddy ü

“The resurgence of the poetry genre is a very exciting example of how a traditional form can be completely re-invigorated by a new platform and a new audience,” McLean said. “Poetry has gone from being one of the sleepier areas of publishing to one of the most interesting ones to watch. It feels like a whole new generation of fans is discovering how wonderful poetry can be, and that is gratifying to see.”

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The NPD Group, Inc.
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Port Washington, NY 11050

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