Posted by: Kathy Temean | January 6, 2013

2012 Year in Deals & January Picture Prompt

Publisher’s Marketplace published the following on Friday. If you have their paid subscription, you can use their database to see how many books in each genre and editor has signed and how many books an agent has sold according to what has been reported to them. Very interesting stuff.

The Year In Deals: 2012

It’s time for our annual look at trends in deal making from the previous, based as usual on reports to Publishers Marketplace. Which comes with the usual qualifiers: PM deal reports represent only a portion of activity in the marketplace, and characterizations of deal size in particular are dependent upon disclosure from the parties involved. We infer relatively consistent habits over time from our community, and the PM dataset of deals is the only such resource robust enough to analyze over time. To us, the granular year-to-year changes are more indicative than anything else.

Once again, total recorded deal volume increased, up 9 percent in 2012 over the prior year, the largest percentage increase since 2009’s rebound from the 2008 slump. Fiction was a clear growth area, up 13 percent over a year ago and above historical norms, with children’s deal reports–which have doubled over the past 5 years–were up another 11 percent, and significant growth in the newly-tracked digital deals. (One could also reasonably include that overall domestic PM deal reports are scaling by 5 to 10 percent a year.)

Total US Deal Reports By Category, 2007 – 2012


Along with the growth in volume of fiction deals came a clear increase in publisher investment: We recorded 180 fiction deals for six-figures or better (or ten percent of all fiction sales), recording new all-time highs for each category (good, significant, and major deals, with 57 of the latter alone). There were 60 percent more six-figure fiction deals for 2012 compared to 2011. Six-figure nonfiction deals were down 5 percent compared to 2011, and while the overall volume of children’s reports continued to grow, investment there was way down, with 25 percent fewer six-figure deals than a year. “Good” deals were steady for children’s projects, with roughly half as many significant and major deals compared to the prior two years. Overall, six-figure deals for 2012 grew about 7 percent, lower than the total increase in deal volume.

Six-Figure Plus US Deal Reports, 2007 – 2012


As everyone knows, originally self-published books made for a number of high-profile crossover deals in 2012–though in total numbers, we recorded 45 such deals in all. Among fiction genres that we track, romance and women’s fiction accounted for much of the year’s increase, up 29 percent over 2011. Debuts and general fiction held steady, as thriller deals jumped 37 percent, mystery/crime reports continued their steady increase, and inspirational fiction recovered after dipping in 2011.

Patrick alien leaving house

There wasn’t any agreement from all of you whether to continue doing the “send in any first page” or “use a picture prompt, so I am leaving it to you to decide what you want to send in for January.

Since I did not include the First Page Picture Prompt on Friday, here is January’s prompt. You might recognize it, since it was illustrated by Patrick Girouard, who was featured on Illustrator Saturday, yesterday. I guess I am just in the mood for robots and I thought there could be a number of stories in this illustration. I need you to submit it by January 20th to: Look forward to getting your submissions. All the other things that we have been doing with the featured author of the month and wanting to show off illustrations from all the illustrators out there during the month will continue. I’ll write up the whole thing on Friday.

Talk tomorrow,

“Starting to feeling a little better” Kathy

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