This week the selection of Kids Books in the Best Seller’s Carts is pretty broad, but there are several clear trends and niches that can be picked out.
First is the overwhelming saturation of the market with branded items. These go from Harry Potter novels, to SpongeBob and Dora the Explorer, to Hot Wheels, Frozen, and Moana books. This can be an upsetting thing for writers to see, they lose hope as they see these books as lost sales for their potential works. However, I think they can still be a basis for learning about what kids (and their parents) want to read.
One example of this is the fact that two of the branded books feature the well known characters of SpongeBob and Dora the Explorer going to the doctor. This shows that there is a market for this particular niche, presumably with the parents of kids who are ill or having to visit the doctor themselves who wish to explain what will happen.
Another trend that seems to be popular this week is that of cars and other motor vehicles. Many of these belong to brands, but the overwhelming number of books with talking cars or race drivers drivers shows that there is a lot of interest in them.
One interesting trend is that in the books for older readers, those on the edge of moving up to Teen and Young Adult, fantasy and paranormal stories are very popular. Harry Potter is a big part of this, however there are other series on the list, with L. J. Swallow’s Nightmare Academy doing well.
Picture books written with the idea of teaching children about social issues are very popular this week, with topics such as manners, bullying, and being kind, all covered. Some are more blunt on the topic, like Jacquelyn Stagg’s, Kindness Starts With You – At School, but some are more subtle like the newly translated book, Spiky, by Illaria Guarducci and translated by Laura Watkinson, which promotes friendliness.
Cats are winning on the animal characters in picture books front, with the Pete the Cat books by James Dean and Eric Litwin holding many spots on the best seller’s chart.
There are also some books making forays into the LitRPG scene, or using video games as a means of telling their story. Diary of Steve the Noob 43, by the eponymous Steve the Noob, is doing well, but it is Jonathan Brooks’, The Crafter’s Dungeon: A Dungeon Core Novel, which is hitting highest on the chart.
As well as new books and genres some older classics are also pulling in the readers. Mary Poppins, by P. L. Travers, and The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, are both showing off that age is no impediment when it comes to selling books to kids. Though it is probably helped by a recent movie adaptation and a hundred year anniversary to promote them.
In closing, if you can’t get a deal with a big brand to write for them, the best bet for you is to perhaps try and emulate some of the books on this list which have done well. As such, I hope to see some books about car driving cats, who must learn about kindness after a trip to the hospital, that also somehow incorporates video games into the narrative. If you are not sure how to manage this, I recommend taking a look at Nick Bruel’s, Bad Kitty Does Not Like Video Games, which manages to get two of the trends of the week on the page.
Leave a comment if this has given you any ideas!