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Amazon Top 50 book list as a Bellwether (Part 2)

03.23.2020, Uncategorized, by .

Last week I took a quick look at what was trending on Amazon. It is, of course to drive up sales, important to be at the top of Amazon’s best-sellers. But it is as important how long the titles are at the top. Being there a day is fleeting, but sustaining weeks will result in thousands of sales. I checked Bookscan and most of the children’s learning titles listed in the last post were up 4x-10x in sales over the previous week.

Similar titles dominate the list again, but a few micro-trends are emerging – expanding to the top 100:

  1. The big grade workbooks continue to sell, but the rankings are not as high as they were last week.
  2. Coloring and how-to-draw books are trending higher. There are almost a dozen books here (led by Workman’s PAINT BY STICKER series). Adult coloring books are popping into the top 100 too. Not only do children need activities, but so do adults.
  3. Callisto Media has three of the top eight titles (Learn to Write; Coloring Book; and a Joke book). Impressive number of titles in the elite 10. Sales throughout the list are high, but getting into the top 10 is huge.
  4. Summer Bridge books from BrainQuest (#21, #31, and #47) have all made it into the list. To date, only the BrainQuest summer titles are trending. Are parents looking at summer already? As schools extend the stay-at-home, the school year may all be done by distance learning. Many colleges have cancelled in-person classes for the rest of the semester. Will K-12 follow? Plus, if a parent has finished a K-workbook, then time to start a new grade. Also, these summer books are made for teaching during an extended period of time outside of the classroom. Watch these books (Carson Dellosa, Highlights) start to rise.
  5. Modern Kid Press has made leaps from last week with five titles in the top 50 (#5, #11, #19, #24, #41). They had two titles last week. Their Amazon page states the company is a “husband + wife publishing company.” I was not able to find a lot of information about them. I am impressed by their sales/rankings on Amazon. Their covers are great too.
  6. Self-published learning titles are in on the action too – with three in the top 50. The best selling one is a 109-page handwriting tracing book for $6.65.
  7. Flashcards are trending with three in the top 50 and eight in the top 100. These are dominated by SchoolZone with a few from Carson Dellosa. These are being sold as individual decks and inexpensively. I would think a great add on to a book. I wonder when the sets of cards will start to trend. Other non-book items like board games are probably trending well too although I do not have expertise in that area. Jenga, Guess Who?, and Connect 4 are at the top three sellers in “toys and games.”
  8. Easter books for children are selling with three titles in the top 50 and seven in the top 100. A sign of returning to normal. Easter is on April 12th.
  9. The top two books are, in part, due to Reese Witherspoon – with WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING (#1) and LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE (#2). Granted these titles have been selling at a high rate for over a year. They are trending at the top now.

As the stay at home continues, the demand for various books will shift. Will be interesting to see what happens next.

Two additional titles that caught my eye.

#50 – CALM THE F*CK DOWN : AN IRREVERENT ADULT COLORING BOOK — a 2006 book from Sasha O’hara, a self-published author.

#62 – BUSHCRAFT: A FIELD GUIDE TO THE ART OF WILDERNESS SURVIVAL — makes sense to me. This is published by Adams Media.

Stay calm, stay safe, and use this time wisely.




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