In this week’s History eBook best seller charts, the niches and trends doing well are an interesting change from last week. There are some niches which have expanded their lead on the chart and there are others which have leapt on for the first time.
First up, there has been a big push in the number of readers for biographies and auto-biographies, particularly political ones. Some of these political biographies are very recent, for example the books, Shortest Way Home: One Mayor’s Challenge and a Model for America’s Future, by Presidential Candidate, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Joy-Ann Reid’s, The Man Who Sold America: Trump and the Unraveling of the American Story. This shows that readers are very interested in the modern American Political world, a fact underlined by the presence of The Mueller Report, on the chart.
Older biographies are also doing well, Alexander Hamilton is popular, with Rob Chernow’s book still sitting in the top of the charts, and with the Amazon Classic’s Edition of Hamilton’s Federalist Papers also reaching the chart centuries after they were first written. Solomon Northup’s, Twelve Years A Slave, is also selling a lot of Amazon Classic Editions, as is Sun Tzu’s, The Art of War.
Biographies by Annejet van der Zijl are popular enough that pre-orders have managed to take an unpublished book to the top of the charts, while it’s older sibling sits next to it. These books are, The Boy Between Worlds, and, An American Princess. The former is likely helped by the fact that the readers are interested both by historical biographies of people who lived odd and interesting lives, and also wish to follow the lives of people who lived in the Second World War.
The Second World War is a long popular niche in the History genre, this week the trend seems to be focused on those surviving under Nazi invasion, such as The Boy Between Worlds, but also Adiva Geffen’s novel, Surviving The Forest: A WW2 Historical Novel, Based on a True Story of a Jewish Holocaust Survivor. As well as the hard lives of civilians there is an interest in the military aspects of the war, this week there is a focus on Britain and how it fought and was aided, shown by the popularity of, Atlantic Nightmare: The longest military campaign in World War II, by Richard Freeman, and To Keep the British Isles Afloat: FDR’s Men in Churchill’s London, 1941, by Thomas Parrish.
Next up, Cowboy and Westerns books, both non-fiction and fiction, are selling well. Tom Clavin’s, Wild Bill: The True Story of the American Frontier’s First Gunfighter, is a biography of the US Marshall Bill Hickok, and novels featuring fictional counterparts, such as Ransall Dale’s, Branson Hawk – United States Marshal: The Wichita Connection: A Western Adventure, are pulling in high numbers.
True Crime is selling a lot of books this week, John Bloom and Jim Atkinson’s, Evidence of Love: A True Story of Passion and Death in the Suburbs, which interrogates murders in a Texas suburb, while David Grann investigates the mass murder and exploitation of the Osage Indian Nation, in Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, while in Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee, author Casey Cep tells readers about a murder trial watched by famous author Harper Lee.
Finally, one surprise trend that has popped up in the History Genre this week is that of Recipe Books, especially ones featuring “Vintage” recipes. Two Betty Crocker books are on the list, Betty Crocker Lost Recipes: Beloved Vintage Recipes for Today’s Kitchen, and Betty Crocker’s Good and Easy Cook Book. This seems o show that readers wanting recipes are looking further into the past, perhaps being prompted by nostalgia and name recognition to go for these books.
So, what to take from all of this? There seems to be less nostalgia in the air, except when it comes to cooking. And there seems to be less focus on the White American point of view, with, in particular, Solomon Northup’s book doing well and the True Crime Genre focusing on stories where race is highly important. This might help inspire some writers who previously did not believe there was sufficient interest in their preferred topics to finish and publish their work.
Also, many of the books doing well on this week’s chart are books that can be put into more than one trend or category. A good point for writers seems to be to encourage overlap between trends and niches that are doing better than others.
So, has this helped inspire you? Leave a comment if it has!