Publishers Lunch reported at the London Book Fair that nonfiction deals are up sharply, to their highest level in this 2015 period yet, as both fiction and children’s deals declined noticeably in volume. As Little Brown UK deputy ceo David Shelley aptly told The Bookseller, nonfiction is “the new black.”
More notable still is the percentage of reported deals for six figures or better. Despite breathless reports of a few big deals in the last few days from agents who regularly play the book fair market this way, the market trends in the data are unmistakable: Last year we recorded 33 reported six-figure or better fiction deals in the pre-LBF window, including 17 major deals, whereas this year there were 18 overall, including 11 major deals. Even with the big growth in nonfiction deals by volume, this year there were 16 six-figure deals, versus 13 a year ago (the gain was all in “good” deals), and children’s deals were down by 2 transactions — leaving all six-figure domestic deals down 25 percent compared to the same period a year ago.