Earlier this week I talked about the hot picture books of this holiday season, and today I want to jump into the older age groups of Jr. Fiction, Middle Grade, and Young Adult. Although there were lots of spectacular individual books that sold well this holiday (and I’ll get into that in another post) I can’t help but deny the fact that the big sellers are the books that come in a series. Parents, Grandparents, kids, they all go crazy for __________ (insert child’s favorite book series here).
I have a few theories as to why series sell so well:
1) When a kid gets excited about a book, they don’t just have a passing interest. They are PASSIONATE! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: kids run, scream, and jump for joy when the next book in a favorite series hits the shelves. They’re ravenous! And any parent who sees a kid get this excited over a BOOK (rather than…say, um, Angry Birds) has the good sense to buy them the rest of the series for Christmas. And they do.
2) Book box-sets make great gifts! I found that many adults were looking to buy two or more books (per kid) for the holidays. Nothing makes shopping easier than the suggestion of a great new series that has a box set. In fact, most customers asked for box sets rather than the first book of a series. It’s the holidays, they want to splurge a little and get a nice gift!
3) Book series are a lot like your favorite TV show. After you’ve read the first book (or watched a few episodes of a TV show) you’re invested. You know the world. The characters feel like your best friends and you want to hang out with them. You already know what to expect and don’t have to start from scratch with a book that could be good…or could be a total dud.
- The new Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney.
- Susan Collin’s The Hunger Games is still selling like we are in the games and our lives depend on it.
- With the release of Inheritance by Christopher Paolini (the final installment of the Eragon Series) these books were a common request.
- The Lost Hero series by Rick Riordan.
- The Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz.
- Steampunk is gaining traction with both The Clockwork Prince by Casandra Clare and the Leviathan Series by Scott Westerfeld doing really well.
- The Rangers Apprentice series by John Flanagan.
- Origami Yoda and Darth Paper Strikes Back by Tom Angleberger
- As for in Early Series and Jr. Fiction, we are always (year round) selling tons of books in the Magic Tree House series (Mary Pope Osborne). Other popular series include The Rainbow Fairies (Daisy Meadows), Ivy and Bean (Annie Barrows), the Warriors series (Erin Hunter), and the Geronimo Stilton series (Geronimo Stilton).
- And of course, good old Harry Potter is always a common request!
If you’ve got an idea for a great series (particularly in Middle Grade), hop to it! I think this is a trend that will be around for awhile.