While 2021 U.S. non-fiction children’s book sales may be down from last year’s massive surge, they are still beating pre-pandemic numbers in 2019. New data from market research firm The NPD Group show that unit sales in the week ending July 24, 2021 were up 21% from pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
Throughout the pandemic, the children’s non-fiction supercategory has seen tremendous growth in the United States, with unit sales at the end of 2020 up 23% over the previous year. These increases were driven by the need for materials to entertain and educate children during lockdown. In comparison, unit sales in the week ending July 24, 2021 were down 5% compared to the same period in 2020.
Although many children in the United States are about to return to school this fall, educational titles continue to drive sales so far this year. Six categories accounted for 44% of sales for the U.S. children’s nonfiction market between January and July 2021. Biography & Autobiography (up 23%) and Science & Nature (up 9%) both saw increases over last year. , while the other categories – activity books, concepts, study aids, games and activities – were down from 2020.
The NPD reports that supply chain disruptions and changes to retail channels have affected publishing for the past 52 weeks, but lingering concerns about raising children during and after the pandemic will continue. to stimulate book sales until 2022.