In the Children’s best Selling eBook chart this week, there are some surprises along with the expected trends and niches.
Fantasy is doing very well, not only are the classic and well loved books that you expect to see on this chart all there (Harry Potter and The Hobbit, for example) but so too are plenty of other books from the fantasy genre. This is interesting as it means that the readers are perhaps not just reading these books because they are an inescapable part of childhood, but because they are interested in the stories. They may also be inspiring readers to move on from those books to others in the same genre.
LitRPG and GameLit books are doing very well and are tied fairly directly to the continued success of Fantasy in this genre. The logic behind this is fairly straight forward, kids like video games, they like fantasy, and they are less likely to turn their noses up at a new genre than older readers. This means that when a book comes out that matches with what they want they will be more likely to take a risk on it. Of course, there is also the chance that these books are not doing so well because kids are buying them, but their presence on the chart is merely down to an overlap in their tags. But this seems unlikely, mostly because there are multiple books in the chart which are a part of this genre, so it appears to suggest that these books really are being enjoyed by people in the age group that has been expected.
Brand recognition is still one of the most successful ways of getting a book sold in the kid’s chart. Most of the books on the chart belong to a brand. This runs the gamut from being the original novelisation of a story that is now a movie (Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Lord of the Rings) to being a non-canonical story from the wings of the world. Perhaps a prequel, or the tale of what a character did when they were not on screen that time. Often these books also have that other winning formula for children’s writing, “here is a scary thing that the characters are going through, see they are managing it so you will be able to as well!” This style of books where the character goes to the doctors, or goes to a new school, or something similarly worrying, is also used in books where the characters are not already known to the readers via other means, but there is a lot of them in the branded books.
Picture books are hugely popular in the children’s chart, this shouldn’t be surprising. However, what is interesting is the variety of the art styles used in the books this week. From photographs chosen and picked out to tell a story, to art that mimics the style of the cartoon from which the characters come, to the art styles of individual artists which become familiar and recognisable, there is an opportunity for anyone of practically any artistic skill level to have a go.
Finally, the most popular animals appearing on the chart this week are very clearly cats. There are very few other animals on the chart that appear more than once or twice, while there are numerous series featuring feline heroes. Some of these series have spanned numerous books, which shows that they have achieved a long term popularity.
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