For Valentine's Day, instead of looking at romance novels (too predictable), we decided to focus our attention on Juvenile books that are written and specifically marketed for the holiday. Using BNC SalesData (which tracks print sales in the English-language trade market), we searched for books with a Juvenile Fiction / Holidays & Celebrations / Valentine's Day or Juvenile Non-Fiction / Holidays & Celebrations / Valentine's Day BISAC subject code in their metadata to find out how these categories sell leading up to Feb. 14.
Looking at each subject's market share in 2018, we discovered that sales in these categories started to trend up in January and peaked in February around Valentine's Day. On average in 2018, the Fiction Valentine's Day books represented 0.01% of the overall print market, but their share jumped to 0.30% in January and peaked at 0.52% in February of that year. (Interestingly, these numbers have increased from 0.25% in January 2017 and 0.42% in February 2017.) For comparison, their sales in the winter holiday season only increased to 0.04% of the overall print market. On average in 2018, the Non-Fiction Valentine's Day books represented under 0.01% of the overall print market for 10 months of the year, and their share jumped to 0.05% in January 2018 and peaked at 0.09% in February 2018.
The 10 bestselling Juvenile books for Valentine's Day
These were the bestselling Juvenile Fiction or Non-Fiction titles with a Valentine's Day BISAC subject code in 2018, though any books with a price of $5.99 or under were removed:
Top 10 Juvenile Valentine's Day Books
Peppa Pig: Peppa's Valentine's Day by Courtney Carbone (Scholastic, 9781338158977)
Love from the Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (Penguin Young Readers Group, 9780448489322)
Happy Valentine's Day, Curious George by H. A. Rey (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 9780547131078)
Vintage Valentines by Golden Books Staff (Random House Children's Books, 9780375875144)
Little Miss Hug by Adam Hargreaves (Penguin Young Readers Group, 9780843180596)
Happy Valentine's Day, Little Critter! by Mercer Mayer (HarperCollins Publishers, 9780060539733)
Who's Your Valentine, Charlie Brown? by Charles M. Schulz (Simon Spotlight, 9781534401105)
Babies Love Valentines by Holly Berry Byrd (Cottage Door Press, 9781680521498)
Huggy Kissy by Leslie Patricelli (Candlewick Press, 9780763632465)
Elmo Loves You (Sesame Street) by Sarah Albee (Random House Children's Books, 9780399552182)
Find out more about these books in our Top 10 Valentine's Day Juvenile Bestsellers 2018 catalogue.
Four of the top 10 books are trade paperbacks and four are board books. Two books are Non-Fiction titles (Vintage Valentines and Babies Love Valentines) and none are by a Canadian contributor. Interestingly, eight books in the top 10 were published in December, and one was published in January; all 10 books have publication dates between 2005 and 2017.
Both the average and median current list prices for the titles are about $9, with titles ranging from $7 to $13. There was one book with a price of less than $5.99, Littlest Series: The Littlest Valentine by Brandi Dougherty and Michelle Todd, which was removed from the top 10.