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The Success of Sarah J Maas Boosts Bloomsbury’s Profits

Bloomsbury has raised its profit projections for the year following the global success of Sarah J Maas’s latest fantasy novel, which has topped bestseller charts worldwide, thanks in part to TikTok endorsements from fans.

The UK publisher informed its shareholders of an anticipated profit increase beyond the forecasts from December, largely due to the success of Maas’s most recent publication, House of Flame and Shadow.

Released on January 30, this novel is the third installment in Maas’s series featuring Bryce Quinlan, a character who is part human, part fae, set in the fantasy Crescent City.

Maas’s blend of romance and fantasy, known as “romantasy,” has garnered widespread acclaim, with House of Flame and Shadow achieving number one bestseller status in the US, UK, Australia, among other countries.

In the UK, it recorded the third highest first-week sales for a fantasy novel, selling 44,761 copies. This release has also boosted sales for Maas’s previous 15 titles published by Bloomsbury.

The publisher, best known for the Harry Potter series, now anticipates significantly higher pre-tax profits than the market consensus of £37.2m for the year ending February 29, with revenues of £291.4m.

Following these results, Investec has revised its profit and revenue predictions for Bloomsbury to £48.1m and £329.3m, respectively, leading to a nearly 10% increase in share price to 539p, a record high since its 1994 listing.

Bloomsbury has plans for six additional titles from Maas, whose rise in popularity has also been fueled by her active engagement with fans on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok.

Sales in the “romantasy” genre remain strong, with Rebecca Yarros’s Fourth Wing series making significant impacts. Her novel Iron Flame set a new record as the fastest-selling fantasy book, with 57,055 copies sold in its first week last November.

Nigel Newton, CEO of Bloomsbury, attributed this “exceptionally strong trading period” to the surging interest in fantasy fiction. He praised Maas as a publishing sensation, noting the consistent growth of her fanbase, amplified by Bloomsbury’s marketing efforts and the virality on social media platforms.

Bloomsbury also highlighted the contribution of other recent publications to its sales success, including the Harry Potter Wizarding Almanac, Tom Kerridge’s Pub Kitchen cookbook, and Ghosts, a book tied to the acclaimed BBC comedy series.

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