The market of children’s books maintained fast growth in 2017. Online selling of children’s books performed prominently,becoming a major contributor to the increase of major online book-selling platforms. This report presents the selling of children’s books in 2017 on three major websites: Dangdang, Jingdong and Tmall.
Dangdang: Five Years of Consecutive Increase with More Chinese Originality
Dangdang sold 1.189 billion books in2017, totally 40 billion yuan(about6.32 billion dollars). Dangdang also has the highest ranking and fastest increasing rate.
The sales volume of children’s books kept growing between 2013 and 2017,increasing by 35% annually for five consecutive years. In 2017, 410 million children’s books were sold on Dangdang.Children’s literature, picture books and science books serve as three pillars. By far, buyers of children’s books account for 28% of all Dangdang buyers,and retail conversion rate is 30%.
Of the children’s books sold on Dangdang in 2017, one third were original.Between 2013 and 2017, original books accounted for one third of the total sales volume of children’s books. On the Top1000 bestsellers list over the last five years, the proportion of original to imported children’s books is 3:7. But on the whole, original books are catching up, accounting for 40% on the TOP 1000 bestsellers list in 2017. On the Top 10list, 4 were original books, accounting for the highest.
Regarding regions, major buyers of children’s books are mainly from Eastern China. Compared with the Northerners,Southerners prefer original books.Generally speaking, differences in purchasing power is linked to regional economy. Eastern China enjoys a well developed economy, with strong purchasing power and great willingness to invest, and it takes children’s education very seriously.
Categorically, children’s literature,picture books and popular science books remain the troika, accounting for 31%, 21% and 20% of the total sales volume respectively. Altogether they represent 3/4.
In terms of children’s literature, Chinese original books enjoy a sound momentum.In 2017, children’s literature accounted for 18%, and there were many highly popular books. The total sales volume of children’s literature according to fixed price reached 10 billion yuan(about 1.58 billion dollars), a year-on-year increase of 70%. For picture books, most were imported from Europe, the US, Japan and South Korea in 2017, original ones accounted for25%. However, the contribution rate of single original book was only 10%. The good news is, in the last five years, the share of original picture books have increased both in category and fixed price.
Regarding popular science and encyclopedia,of the 400 original books on the TOP 1000, this category reached its peak share of 36% in 2014, and ebbed to the lowest in 2016. It rebounded in 2017 and almost spiked to the highest rate in history. To some extent, such a rapid increase reflects a changing mindset of Chinese parents to raise children.
Jingdong: Children’s Books are One of the Most Popular Categories
According to Department of Books,Culture and Entertainment of Jingdong,the most popular category in 2017 was children’s books, followed by books on culture and education, literature, social sciences, life and art.
Regarding the year-on-year increase of the sales volume according to fixed price, in 2017 the highest increase was found in cultural and educational books, followed by children’s books and literature.
Regarding the number of buyers, in2015, the number of children’s books buyers ranked the fourth, lower than books on culture and education, literature,life and art. In 2016, the number jumped to the second, only lower than books on culture and education and slightly higher than literature. In 2017,the number remained the second, but the difference from the third (literature)was getting bigger. The spike in the number of buyers contributed to a big increase in the selling the children’s books. It is worth mentioning that the buyers of cultural and educational books kept increasing in the last three years,not surpassed by the buyers of children’s books, although it also grew fast.
In 2017, the top-seller is World Map:Travelling With Daddy (Encyclopedia), which incorporates the art and content for children to open their mind and heart. It is notable that of the ten bestselling books, only this one was published in2017. The earliest was My Dad, My Mom (2Volumes) , published in June 2007. Peppa Pig (10 Volumes) and Guess How Much I Love You , whose sales volume ranked in the second and third place respectively, were both published in 2013. The ninth bestseller Totto-Chan: The Little Girl at the Window was published in 2011. This indicates that classic children’s books, with an enduring vitality, are loved by children readers throughout generations.
Tmall: Children’s Books Enjoy Higher Increase than Others
In 2017 ,Tmall sold 3 5 billionyuan(about 5.53 billion dollars) of books according to fixed price, among which online selling accounted for over 50%. Of all the books sold, books for children and on raising children took up 23%, second only to books for learning and exams (30%).The sales volume of children’s books grew year on year, and in 2017 the increase washigher than average,reaching hundreds of millions of yuan. Books on copyright and toys, three-dimensional and AR books are becoming more popular.
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