Translated fiction sells better in the UK than English fiction, research finds

Translated literary fiction is selling better on average in the UK than literary fiction originally written in English, according to new research, with authors including Elena Ferrante, Haruki Murakami and Karl Ove Knausgaard driving a boom in sales.

Though fiction in translation accounts for just 3.5% of literary fiction titles published, it accounted for 7% of sales in 2015, according to a survey commissioned by the Man Booker International prize.

The research, conducted by Nielsen Book, looked at physical book sales in the UK between January 2001 and April 2016. It found that translated fiction sales almost doubled over the last 15 years, from 1.3m to 2.5m copies, while the market for fiction as a whole fell from 51.6m in 2001 to 49.7m in 2015.

Although the proportion of translated fiction is still “extremely low”, at 1.5% overall, the sector still “punches well above its weight”, said the book sales monitor, with that 1.5% accounting for 5% of total fiction sales in 2015.

Read more: The Guardian

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