Father's Day book trends

Father's Day is happening this month — June 17, to be exact — and we only have one question for you: Are you going to be gifting any books to the father figures in your life?

Last month we wrote about Mother's Day book trends, and now it's dad's turn.

Subjects that increase leading up to Father's Day

To celebrate and help you prepare, we decided to find out if there are any adult subject categories where we can see a notable increase in sales, expressed through each category's share of the market, in the weeks leading up to the holiday.

Our methodology: In order to find the subjects with an increase in market share, we created a baseline comprising six weeks of unit sales and compared that baseline to the two weeks leading up to and including Father's Day 2017. This allowed us to see if any categories experienced a positive or negative shift during this time.

In general, changes in market share around Father's Day were found to be fairly small, though notable, and it's important to note that shifts can be impacted by many different factors, such as the release of a big book around the same time. For example, the highly anticipated mystery novel by Bill Clinton and James Patterson, The President is Missing, is coming out this week, and though many people may purchase the book as a Father's Day gift, others will purchase it simply because they're intrigued by the idea of a former US president (co-)writing a presidential mystery novel.

Now for the results! The adult subjects with the largest market share increase leading up to Father's Day 2017 were: Games & Activities (+2.14%), Historical Fiction (+1.68%), and (who doesn't love a dad joke?) Humorous Fiction (+0.89%).

Keywords: Mother's Day vs. Father's Day

Some say that Father's Day is often forgotten in Canadian households, arguing that most people feel that it's more important to pay attention to Mother's Day. According to The National Retail Foundation in the US, people spend an average of $135 on fathers and a whopping $186 on mothers. (Side note: I feel like I need to apologize to my parents here and also point out that they obviously gave birth to a cheap daughter.)

Interestingly, the opposite is true when it comes to the metadata and the number of books we have in BiblioShare. As we mentioned in our Mother's Day post, "Mother's day" or similar permutations were found to be used on a total of 1,100 ISBNs under 250 different BISACs. Meanwhile, "Father's Day" or similar permutations were present on a total of 4,464 ISBNs under 538 BISACs — what a difference! 

The top 25 BISACs used on Father's day-related titles are:

  1. HISTORY / Military / World War II (348 ISBNs)
  2. SPORTS & RECREATION / Golf (192 ISBNs)
  3. BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs (136 ISBNs)
  5. HISTORY / Civil War Period (111 ISBNs)
  6. HISTORY / Military / Vietnam War (96 ISBNs)
  7. HISTORY / Military / General (95 ISBNs)
  8. FICTION / Romance / Contemporary (90 ISBNs)
  9. FICTION / Thrillers / General (83 ISBNs)
  10. SPORTS & RECREATION / Football (82 ISBNs)
  11. COOKING / Methods / Barbecue & Grilling (75 ISBNs)
  12. HISTORY / Military / World War I (71 ISBNs)
  14. JUVENILE FICTION / Family / Parents (64 ISBNs)
  15. FICTION / Thrillers / Suspense (63 ISBNs)
  16. COOKING / General (57 ISBNs)
  17. HISTORY / Military / United States (56 ISBNs)
  18. FICTION / General (48 ISBNs)
  19. HISTORY / Military / Aviation (39 ISBNs)
  20. FICTION / Literary (39 ISBNs)
  21. HISTORY / Military / Strategy (37 ISBNs)
  22. BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Political (35 ISBNs)
  23. BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Historical (34 ISBNs)
  24. SPORTS & RECREATION / Fishing (33 ISBNs)
  25. FICTION / Romance / General (33 ISBNs)

The most popular overall category is History with 82 different subcategories using the "Father's Day" keyword, followed by Cooking with 51. Other popular categories are Family & Relationships (44), Fiction (44), Juvenile Fiction (43), Sports & Recreation (26), and Political Science (25).

A total of 153 publishers are using "Father's Day" as a keyword (compared to 100 using "Mother's Day" as a keyword), and 108 of the "Father's Day" titles were Canadian-authored (compared to 26 for "Mother's Day"). 

So if you're thinking about which books to place front-and-centre in your store for the next couple of weeks, we suggest books about geopolitical conflicts, games, golf, giggles, and good old-fashioned barbecue.