This week the History eBooks that are selling well tend to come under about three or so different categories, American History, World War 2 History, and the History of Famous Leaders. These three niches do have some overlap between them, but typically things are clearly set out. There are also a few outliers, but generally they are fairly adjacent to other categories and can be thought of as popular due to similar trends. As an example, Martin Dugard’s, Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone, is obviously African History, however it has ties to both the books on Victoria that have appeared on the list, and those books that look at America’s history of Pioneers, Cowboys, and Slavery, all of which are popular this week in their niches.
But first, let us look at the niche of American History, and what trends are doing well in it. As said above, Cowboy and Western books are doing incredibly well, both fiction and non-fiction books on this topic are selling in high numbers. Histories of the Pioneers are popular, as are books about the Revolution and other eras in the earlier parts of US History. There is also an interest in biographies of Civil War Leaders, and Presidents of all eras. Books on slavery are also selling well, though it is not as popular a topic as some other parts of American History. There is also evidence of interest in particularly niche topics, such as beer making, or the history of certain areas in America, this shows that some topics can catch the interest of large numbers of people if they are told well and publicised broadly, even if the topic itself is not one that many people would race to read about. Present day American history is also selling well, especially books which promise to explain the political events of recent years and how things have happened.
World War 2 History is still selling well, particularly those books focusing on spies and survivors of occupation and concentration camps. These two disparate topics may not seem to have much linking them, apart from the war, of course, but often the two are quite intricately linked. Many of the spies were survivors or those who had lost loved ones and reacted to this loss by working against those who had killed their loved ones. And of course, the main thing that links them is that they are not soldiers on the battlefield, they are therefore people who have had their lives ignored in favour of more traditional heroes. This change in trends is quite interesting to see happen, and is only growing more striking in it’s depth and opacity as it goes on.
Finally, one of the most obvious trends selling well this week is that of biographies of famous leaders. From American Civil War Generals, to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, it is clear that people are intrigued and looking to broaden their understanding. Sun Tzu’s, The Art of War, is also present on the charts this week and I think it is probably likely that it too comes under this category, even if the fame of the man’s writings has somewhat eclipsed his fame as a warrior and tactician. Another book doing well in this ongoing trend is one that takes a broader view of the topic, Leadership, by James MacGregor Burns, which looks at many different leaders from across history and analyses what made them so successful.
All in all, this week has shown a great deal of focus on the part of readers. The niches they are promoting are quite narrow compared to the more vague lines of earlier weeks.
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