A recent Bowker study has shown that the massive growth of YA titles is fuelled in part by adult consumers. Perhaps this isn’t hugely surprising to many people, but the numbers are interesting: 55% of YA books (including ebooks) are estimated to be bought by readers aged over 18, with 28% being bought by those aged between 30 and 44.
It seems to be the big ticket titles that are gaining the most: The Hunger Games, Twilight and the Harry Potter series all get mentions, so it seem adults are reading YA books that become wel-known, rather than making conscious decisions to browse for YA titles in particular. YA titles tend to have very high media profiles, so it’s not hard to see how this influence is occurring.
The Bowker study suggests that adult readers of YA books are one of the most coveted demographic groups for publishers to reach out to, and there’s another interesting piece of data in the results: while half the respondents said they have no interest in taking part in book groups or other formal book-related social groups, many indicated that they use social media to get recommendations regarding books.