Sci-Fi/Fantasy Segment Grows as Trade Books Decline Overall, Report Finds
STAMFORD, CT—July 26, 2011—Representing just 6 percent of the total trade book market, the science fiction/fantasy segment will grow 3.4 percent in 2011, reaching $578.6 million, despite the overall market’s expected 5.2 percent decline. According to a report published by media and publishing forecast firm Simba Information, the science fiction and fantasy categories experienced double-digit increases in title output, along with stronger ratings on the consolidated bestseller list in 2010.
According to the report, the science fiction/fantasy segment is gaining market share, adding half a percent in 2011 compared to 2010, as it more than triples its 1 percent growth rate from the past two years.
“The sci-fi/fantasy segment has been a stable growth segment for the past few years,” notes Michael Norris, Simba Information’s senior trade analyst. “Since the book market took a big hit in 2007, it has been inching closer to its previous high-point.”
Title output for fantasy rose sharply to 6,389 titles, growing 14.6 percent, followed by science fiction with 3,714 titles, growing 10.1 percent in 2010. Simba’s report, which uses a consolidated bestseller list comprised of ratings from USA Today, The New York Times and Publisher’s Weekly, finds science fiction performed strongly on the list ,with 76 titles by 58 authors, while fantasy held 321 titles by 192 authors, although its success was led by the Twilight Saga.
“Even though a lot of titles are hit or miss with audiences, both as books and as media tie-ins, there will continue to be a thirst for this segment of fiction for the foreseeable future,” added Norris.
Simba’s report, “Business of Consumer Book Publishing 2011,” details the overall market for trade books, segmented by 18 major categories including health & fitness, romance, self-help, science fiction/fantasy and others. It includes demographic and psychographic information on the average book buyer, along with company profiles of the leading publishers including Penguin Group, Macmillan and Random House.