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Children’s book boom drives growth for New Zealand publishers

By December 12, 2018February 19th, 2020No Comments

Heading into Christmas, sales of New Zealand-published children’s books are on a roll —helping the domestic publishing industry to reach more readers with local stories in 2018.

In the 11 months to the end of November, sales of New Zealand books were up +1.6% by volume compared to the same period last year.

Children’s books account for much of that dynamism, with volume sales up +16.7% and value sales +18.8% compared to 2017.

Data from industry analyst Nielsen BookScan points to a surge in sales of children’s and young adult non-fiction books, which spiked +77.9% over the past year.

Unusually for a segment dominated by fiction and picture books, three of the top ten children’s books in the Christmas selling period to date are non-fiction titles.

Picture book The Wonky Donkey, given global prominence from a viral Facebook video, has galloped to the top of the sales charts.

Growth is not limited to children’s, however, with New Zealand fiction for adults seeing a sales boost of almost +2% by volume.

“New Zealand publishing is in good heart and proving the value of quality, locally authored work to readers here and around the world,” commented Peter Dowling, President of the Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ).

Children’s book sales globally are booming, evidenced by rights and distribution activity at industry fairs attended by PANZ in 2018 including the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, Frankfurt Book Fair and Guadalajara International Book Fair.

“That trend is being reflected here with new publishers and bookstores opening, and a growing range of gorgeous and engaging books by New Zealand authors and illustrators,” Dowling said.

“Christmas shoppers should head to their local bookstores to see what the excitement is about — the summer readers in their lives will thank them.”


About the Publishers Association of New Zealand

PANZ represents book, educational and digital publishers in New Zealand, from large international publishers to local independent presses. The book publishing industry publishes over 2,000 New Zealand titles each year and turns over an estimated $330 million a year. 


Contact: Sandra Noakes,Councillor   Tel:027 576 7675

About Nielsen Book

Nielsen Book is the leading provider of book-related data services to more than 100 countries worldwide. Its Auckland office works with booksellers, distributors, libraries and publishers to collate sales data and support decision-making in New Zealand’s vibrant book sector.

Contact: Nevena Nikolic, Senior Sales & Marketing Manager

Email: Tel: 021 942 618