This week in kids eBooks things are a bit less clear on the niches and trends front than last week, however two things are abundantly obvious. Brands are magic and magic is pretty popular, too. However, if you lack the chance to cosy up to a massive publishing company, or are just not much of a fan of magic, there are other options.
Somehow managing to rise to the top of the charts despite it’s lack of branding power is Lisa Robinson and Eda Kaban’s, Pirates Don’t Go To Kindergarten! This picture book is based around a young girl’s first day in Kindergarten, and her desire to go back to the safety and familiarity of Pre-School. As the changing of the school year is coming up, some kids gong to school for the first time and others moving on to new classes and teachers, this book is is clearly written with the idea of helping with that transition. As such, books with this or a similar message are only likely to become more popular in the next few weeks and months as the dreaded day comes closer.
Perhaps an unexpected book to find so high up the children’s best seller charts, David McCullough’s, 1776, tells the story of the American Revolution. This is clearly rising so suddenly through the charts due to the upcoming 4th of July Holiday. However, as a Pulitzer Award Winning Book and Best Seller across many different charts, 1776 has something of a better chance to catch people’s attention than many other books.
These two books show that an eye on the seasonal needs of children and their parents is key to understanding what trends and niches do well. Books designed to help children understand change or new experiences are always popular, though the topic tends to change. Likewise, history books telling the stories of important national events are never going to go away entirely, though the interest of the crowd will change depending on what’s in the news or the calendar.
However, brands still reign supreme on the charts, and the most magical of them all has a vast army of books on the chart this week. Harry Potter, by J. K. Rowling, in children’s books it is hard to compete. As well as the seven books of the original series, The Cursed Child Screenplay and Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies, are also on the chart. For a lot of indie authors this can be a disappointing sight, but there is still much to learn. From this, we know that magic and fantasy are still hugely popular, and that making a name for yourself will help immensely in the long term as well as the short. Also, having a big back catalogue that you can dip into and make over into new books can be helpful, as in the case of Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies, which is made up from stories and extracts from the Pottermore website.
Elsewhere in the charts, superheroes are doing very well. Marvel aligned superheroes, such as Spider-Man, in particular are doing well with books designed for a younger audience, such as Marvel 5-Minute Stories, from Marvel Press. But the DC comic, Batman: Gotham by Gaslight (1989-) #1, is also doing very well and it is a comic book pointed more towards older readers.
Disney is also doing well, there are a multitude of books telling the tales of characters from recent movies.
But, to finish up, it is clear that children’s books tend to follow one or two rules. One is that J. K. Rowling and Disney (who own Marvel, after all) have thoroughly conquered the charts and are not likely to be shifted from it any time soon. Secondly, the time of year for children’s books is of vital importance, pay it close attention if you want to catch onto some of the rising niches and trends of the week!