Sunday, October 4, 2020

Age of Authors When They First Published Bestsellers

 Age of Authors When They First Published Bestsellers


Have you ever wondered how long it takes authors to reach bestseller status? Personalized book publishers In The Book have done some fascinating research into the age of authors when they published their first New York Times bestseller. They discovered so many interesting statistics, including discrepancies between the genres, and how the average age has changed over the years. 


Overall, the average age of an author when they published a bestseller for the first time is 48 years old, since the New York Times bestseller list began in 1942. 

Differences Between Genre

Interestingly, the average age of first-time bestsellers is different across various genres. Horror authors have published bestsellers the youngest at an average age of 41. Thriller authors came in as the oldest at an average age of 52 - over a decade older than horror authors! With all other genres such as romance and fantasy being quite closely tied in the late 40s, we can see that authors are most likely to become New York Times bestsellers for the first time in their 40s. You can view the data here and even see where your favorite bestsellers sit on the interactive graph! 

How Has The Average Age Changed?

The research carried out by In The Book has shown that authors are now publishing their first-time bestseller later than in recent decades. The average age has been increasing by decade, with the average age now standing at 52 years, whereas in the 1950s, it was 44.5. This shows that authors are having to wait around 7 years longer to become a bestseller.


There are so many authors who appear on the New York Times bestseller list more than once. So far, John Grishamappears most often on the list, featuring 6 different times across 15 years! However, In The Book was interested in looking at only the first bestseller per author, to see how long it took authors to reach this status.


What About Gender?

There was very little difference between the gender of the author and the age they first published a New York Times bestseller! In the 2010s, women did achieve bestseller status at a younger age of 51, but only by a year. The greater discrepancies appear when looking at gender in specific genres.


A female mystery and crime author usually waits the longest to become a bestseller, with the average age coming in at 56 years. For male authors in the same genre, the average age is 48 years. 


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