The book market can be hard to predict and it can be hard to know exactly what will be the next big thing. This has been seen in abundance with the rise in popularity of colouring books for adults. Even though they have been around since the 1960s, it was in 2012 when things started to spiral out of control. Since then, colouring books have been flying off the shelves.
It seems as though an increase of interest in ‘mindfulness’, a Buddhist meditation technique which involves focusing on just one thing, has led to this craze.
At the beginning of 2016, half of the top 10 best selling books on Amazon.com were made up from colouring books for adults. Furthermore, after selling just one million in 2014, 12 million units were sold just 12 months later.
Now, people can be found colouring in wherever you look, in coffee shops, doctors’ waiting rooms, while watching TV and some have even set up groups for meet-ups. There is no denying that adult colouring books have taken the world by storm and it doesn’t look as though the trend will be stopping any time soon.
As a result, businesses and entrepreneurs alike are investing to put similar products on a market which was once considered a ‘novelty’ or an acquired taste. Best selling author Johanna Basford has been one beneficiary of this trend after selling 16 million copies around the globe. Johanna thinks that people are tired of the ‘digital age’ and want to spend some time going back to basics with pen and paper. As well as this, it also allows the user to be taken back to their childhood which is something many enjoy.
It isn’t just individuals who have seen the benefit though, WH Smith experienced a greater rise in profits over Christmas 2015 after the increase in the sales of colouring books.
Furthermore, Waterstones said that between Christmas 2013 and 2014, sales rose by a whopping 300%. At first, the book shop thought that the trend was strange considering how many toys children have these days but then they slowly started to notice that it was adult colouring books that were the big sellers.
In addition to this, fresh from a new flagship store in London, Foyle announced that they have increased their shelf space for said books from just half a shelf to nearly four full shelves. Even the adults ‘creativity’ section, which was once two shelves, is now a whole display. Head of Art at Foyle’s, Mohara Gill, says that colouring books are therapeutic and that they are now being given as gifts to not only children but to adults too.
The main attraction seems to be that colouring books can be completed by anyone and everyone, it requires no skill. We live in a society full of screens – TV’s, tablets, computers, phones, games consoles, etc – and colouring books provide an opportunity to get away from this. While this remains the case, it looks as though colouring books are here to stay for children and for adults.