If you’ve ever taken Econ 101 then you’ll recall in the first-class this simple principle. The entire economic system relies on the foundation of supply and demand. This in turn produces scarcity. The more scare a product or service, the higher the price (and the lower the quantity). When demand drops so does price. Take for example the book industry, which for years seemed to be suffering from a gradual decline in readership (demand). New technologies played a role in shaping the industry and affecting demand and supply. Electronic formats made it easier to acquire titles, and also provided new authors with the means to easily publish material. These two coupled together are reasons why traditional print books were dropping in demand.

However, in 2015, a surprising reversal in trend. The print book industry saw very modest growth. What contributed to this increase?

It was largely two new mediums: online celebrities publishing books, and the craze of adult coloring.

Those trends don’t seem to be slowing, Publishers Weekly released their midyear sales data for the print book industry and the results are good. The data indicates a 6%+ increase year-over-year in sales revenue compared to 2015. The increase can’t entirely be attributed to the proliferation of adult coloring book materials, but it does play a major role. The traditional adult coloring book with floral shapes and patterns, has now been joined by every depiction, and shape across every genre. The saturation of the coloring market includes religious titles, pop culture, movies, television shows, and the traditional therapeutic patterns. The top coloring book right now is in fact one simply depicting swear words.

The major publishers haven’t embrace innovation as readily as they could, particularly in the electronic domain, so whether the increasing in print book demand is something that I can be sustained is debatable.

With some files from Publishers Weekly, produced by the Soul Coats: Restoration team, a Christian adult coloring book.