What Libraries Want
The following statistics are based upon sales to Libraries and Prisons in the UK, USA, Middle East, Europe, New Zealand and Australia. To best illustrate popular trends, we've used our recent sales figures, between 2010 and 2018.
Review our Graphs below, to see what's been popular...
Top Languages Supplied
No surprises with Urdu, with the large Pakistani community in the UK. However, in recent years, Polish has caught up with Urdu as the 2nd most requested language. Readership for Bengali and Hindi has slowly declined, whereas other Indic languages remain very popular (moreso outside the UK). We expect Arabic to make an appearance in the list over the next couple of years (although demand may have been high recently due to the Syrian crisis).
Top Fiction Genres
Romantic fiction is as popular as ever, especially in Chinese and Tamil languages. Short Stories dominate certain languages such as Punjabi and Gujarati. Social Novels continue to dominate Urdu and Farsi fiction. Mystery Novels (especially as translations) are hugely popular, especially in Polish.
Top Non-Fiction Genres
As our ethnic communities become more elderly, non-fiction requirements are changing. At one-time, Religious and Political books were the most popular. Now we see high demand for Health and Fitness (diabetes, exercise, blood pressure etc) and Food and Drink (healthy cooking, celebrity chefs etc). As always, there is an extremely high demand for Biographies, although nowadays relating to Showbiz and Sports Celebrities in the USA, UK and readers' Home-Countries.
And The Winner Is :-)
What do Public Libraries prefer to buy for their Readers? We work with hundreds of Librarians and Stock Managers - this is the type of material they have been requesting over the last few years...
Fiction is dominant (80-20 has shifted to 70-30 in the last 5 years). But even with Google, non-fiction titles still remain fairly popular. Quality of Fiction remains very high, especially with Urdu, Polish and Chinese. Other languages such as Arabic and Farsi are making a resurgence too.
Yes, for Foreign-Language it's mainly Adult readers. Unfortunately the younger generation are not retaining their mother-tongue language skills. However, a lot of Authorities are starting to heavily promote Junior Fiction and Dual Language, so there is some hope :-)
Most Indic books are hardback, but from everywhere else in the world, we generally supply paperback with good quality dust jackets - ensuring longevity for many years :-)
Year Of Publication
Libraries are generally procuring books published within the last 12 months. Classics or Evergreens are not generally requested unless associated with movies (such as Harry Potter).
We supply Books, Magazines, DVDs and CDs. At the moment, traditional Books dominate. However, e-Books are coming for Foreign-Languages and things might change. Watch this space :-)
Foreign-Language books are pricier than home stock. Libraries request that the majority of books be less than £20 after discount, with a maximum price of £30 for a single book. The most common price range is £17-£20 per book.