A Q&A With Children’s Institute Featured Speaker Allison Risbridger of NPD Book

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Allison Risbridger, client development specialist at NPD Book, will appear at the sixth ABC Children’s Institute in New Orleans to present booksellers with a review of the most recent data on the U.S. children’s book market.

NPD logoFeatured Talk: NPD Book — Bookselling Trends” will dive into the most recent trends in children’s books, including genre, format, buyer behavior, and more, and attendees will emerge with new insights to help them maximize their business in the coming year.

The 2018 ABC Children’s Institute will be held from June 19–21 at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel. This featured talk will take place on Wednesday, June 20, from 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. in Room Grand D.

Here, Bookselling This Week speaks with Risbridger about what booksellers can expect to learn from her presentation on children’s book industry trends.

Bookselling This Week: What are some of the topics you’ll be discussing at Children’s Institute? What will booksellers learn during your presentation? 

Allison Risbridger of NPD Book speaks at last year's Children's Institute in Portland, Oregon.
Allison Risbridger of NPD Book speaks at last year's Children's Institute in Portland, Oregon.

Allison Risbridger: We’re excited to present trends in the children’s book market, the fastest-growing segment in books today! We’ll talk about some of the growth-drivers in terms of content and formats as well as broader market influences and their effects on children’s books. Booksellers will walk away with a holistic view of what’s happening in the kids’ space today (and beyond) and what they can do to capitalize on the trends.

BTW: What are some of the new insights you will report on based on NPD data from this past year? What about projections for future trends?

AR: This year, we’re thrilled to bring out some broader retail trends from The NPD Group that cut across all industries (including toys, games, apparel, and more), which we haven’t done at Children’s Institute before. One of the most interesting concepts that we’ve been discussing with all of our manufacturers and retailers at The NPD Group is the dichotomy of retail that’s happening right now between e-commerce and bricks-and-mortar stores. We’ll introduce the concept of “retailtainment,” retailers as entertainment for their buyers, and how indies are the perfect example of this ever-important model. 

BTW: How does growth in the children’s book market compare to the overall book market right now? How are indie booksellers doing in children’s sales compared to Amazon and big box stores?

AR: The children’s book market is one of the most exciting areas of publishing right now because of the consistent sales growth. The segment has grown an average of 5 percent year-over-year for the past four years and sales are up 6 percent so far this year! This is compared to 3 percent average annual growth in the overall print books market since 2013 and a 3 percent year-to-date increase. 

BTW: Has NPD been collecting data in any new categories in the last year or last several years?

AR: Measuring licenses in books is a new venture for us as we’ve launched the Book License Reporting service this year. We’ve now tagged all licensed, branded books in the Bookscan system at the ISBN-level and are measuring brand value across all publishers and licensors. Did you know nearly a third of all children’s books sold in 2017 were licensed books?

We’ve also added retailers to our Bookscan reporting panel, expanding our coverage of the trade market; this year we added Walmart.com, Jet.com, and 300+ Christian bookstores.