This is Part Two in a series (currently of indeterminate length but I suspect five) of posts. Read the first, Here.
I promised at the end of my last post to offer up some analysis of the ICM in terms of categories and trends. The first thing to say about this is that I don’t think people will be surprised by the list in the image below. It reflects the top ten best-selling categories in the 2008 ICM. The image is small but clicking on it will take you to a google document that will have quite a lot of other data as this series moves ahead.
What strikes me as the most interesting part of this top ten categories is that the overwhelming winner is General & Literary Fiction. At 30.9% of the Top 1000 it is 3 times larger than the next biggest, Crime & Thriller, which is also fiction. If you add in Young Adult Fiction and Childrens Fiction to the mix, fiction makes up a solid 47.29% of the Top 1000. Impressive no?
Interestingly, Autobiography of all varieties makes a solid appearance in the top ten, which is not all that surprising when you consider that it includes titles like:
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything
Ma, He Sold Me for a Few Cigarettes
The Diving-bell and the Butterfly
Parky: My Autobiography
Would the Real Gerry Ryan Please Stand Up
My Booky Wook
Ronan O’Gara: My Autobiography
Carra: My Autobiography
Sonia: My Story
Yes readers, the celebrity publishing is alive and well in Ireland, just in case you thought we had a more literary bent here in Ireland.
What does the top ten not show us?
Well for one thing we miss the fact that the 11th most popular category was True Crime. I’m not surprised by this and I suspect most people would not be either. The rest of the top 20 is a bit more diverse. But the number of units and the percentage of the market these categories represent slide rapidly towards less than 1% of the whole ICM Top 100.
Which neatly brings me to the core message this category analysis exercise MIGHT suggest, that publishing fiction is a good route to success. After all fiction seems to account for the bulk of the Top 1000 sales. On the face of it that makes sense, but I’m not so sure about it. However I think I will leave the next post to explain why that is the case.
Two very interesting meetings today,