This Week in Indie Publishing

Author Don Massenzio

If The Adult Coloring Book Craze Is Dead, It Needs A Postmortem

In 2015, adult coloring books became the dark horse of the publishing industry, as a surprising surge in sales boosted major players’ revenues. In 2016, there was no end in sight. In 2017, the bottom fell out of the adult coloring book market and, this year, the trend is officially dead.

So it seems, at least. It’s possible that adults still enjoying coloring as much as ever, but independent publishers — whose sales numbers aren’t reported with the same rigor as those of traditional publishers — have cornered the market. Here’s a dive into the timeline of the adult coloring trend, as told through the cottage industry of articles covering the phenomenon.

A July 2015 New Yorker article described the early stage of the adult coloring renaissance, noting a connection to the popularity of other infantilizing activities like adult summer camps and…

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