What Ebook Category Increased Sales the Most During the Pandemic?

It’s no surprise that ebook sales have increased during the worldwide pandemic shut downs from mid-March to mid-May of 2020.  In response to closures, many e-retailers  stepped in to make sure readers had lots (even free) to choose from, including Apple (for iPhone and iPad), Scribd (digital library), Kobo, and even Sesame Street. Libraries that had to close their doors came up with various ways to make sure their e-collections could reach regular patrons and attract new ones.

The Pandemic Challenge

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO’s Director-General, announced that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic.

Around the world, we were sent home from work and asked to stay inside our own homes, unless we worked in essential services. Those who could, started working from home.  “Zoom” became the new word-of-the-day as we switched from face-to-face meetings to video communications.

Schools, right from preschool programs to doctorate degrees at universities, closed worldwide as we all started programs of social distancing. That meant many parents had to not only work from home, but they also had to figure out how to keep their kids busy and help them with their schoolwork at the same time.

But how?

And voila, you have ebooks. With ebook apps you can read on any device from tablets and smartphones to laptops and smart tvs.

The best thing about ebooks in a pandemic though, is that parents aren’t restricted to providing whatever print titles they happen to have in their homes. If the kids wanted to learn more about how earthquakes happen or the life cycle of a monarch butterfly, they could quickly locate an ebook in their public library collection or favorite online bookstore.

Easy access has always been—and likely always will be—one of the most significant advantages of ebooks over their paper counterparts.

What Category Showed the Biggest Gains on Amazon?

The Amazon Kindle Children's eBook bestseller list showed a 49% improvement in average sales rank in April, 2020.

So, if you’re guessing that the general category of children’s ebooks had the largest gains during the first two months of the pandemic, you were right.

In fact, the search volume on Google for “ebooks for kids” grew by a factor of 10!

That, of course, translated to sales on Amazon, the world’s favorite online ebook retailer.  However, it just built on a trend that had already been underway.

What kinds of books topped those sales? Well, the children’s ebook market is enormous encompassing 458 categories, sub-categories, and sub-sub categories. The numbers aren’t surprising considering it includes fiction and nonfiction, as well as a very diverse collection of books from picture books through to novels of a few hundred pages for pre-teen readers.

Children’s eBooks Reach #3 in Sales in Kindle Store

For the first time ever, the children's e-book best seller list has reached the #3 genre position in the Kindle store.

For the past number of years, the most popular genres of ebooks have been:

  1. Romance
  2. Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense
  3. Science Fiction & Fantasy

However, the free BASIC K-Lytics report slotted children’s ebooks into third place, pushing SF and Fantasy to #4 in their April 2020 analysis of the market.

According to the K-Lytics Children’s eBooks 2020 Report, the top three main categories in sales were:

  1. Literature & Fiction
  2. Growing Up & the Facts of Life
  3. Action and Adventure

But this, of course, isn’t even the tip of the iceberg! I can guarantee that if you’re as interested in understanding the growing popularity of children’s ebooks as I am, that you’ll find the breakdown and analysis of sales in the latest report is fascinating.

Read Linda’s Latest Articles

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