Biographies and political non-fiction are expected to be popular stocking-fillers for book lovers this Christmas.

Almost 800 new titles have been released in our bookstores – and online book sellers – since September in the lead-in to the Christmas market.

Whitcoulls' head book buyer Joan McKenzie said this year's biography options were "top quality".

Michelle Obama's memoir Becoming has been a hit both here and overseas.


"Non-fiction this year is better than it's been for some time," McKenzie said, adding that books centred on Donald Trump, including Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury, have generated big sales.

Stacey Collins sales manager for books at Mighty Ape, said Trump-related books had proven popular on the New Zealand online store.

Other big hits in the leadup to Christmas for Mighty Ape included fantasy books from the Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts and Wizarding World franchises for older kids and young adults.

As well The Wonky Donkey, the Kiwi children's book which got international exposure after a video of a giggling Scottish granny reading it went viral earlier this year, was flying off the virtual shelves.

The latest works from best-selling authors Lee Child, David Walliams and George R.R. Martin have also topped the charts in recent weeks.

On the local side, Rhys Darby's kids' book debut, The Top Secret Undercover Notes of Buttons McGinty, has been a hot seller, while MightyApe has had Sh*t Towns of New Zealand, based on the infamous Facebook page, on back order.

Meanwhile, as Kiwis consider which books to buy for their loved ones for Christmas, New Zealand booksellers are urging them to keep their attention local when shopping online.

Booksellers NZ has taken aim at Book Depository in particular, claiming that the Amazon-owned company is increasingly targeting New Zealand shoppers.


"We need to stop pretending that threat is not here," communications manager Sarah Forster said.

A common reason many New Zealanders buy overseas is because books are generally cheaper on sites such as Book Depository.

Forster said Book Depository has the capacity to buy such a volume that bookstores can never compete on price.

"If Book Depository buys 10,000 copies, but your local bookshop can only afford five, there's not a lot they can do."

Instead of sending money overseas, Forster hoped Kiwis would shop at one of the 47 online book stores throughout the country; including chains such as Paper Plus, Whitcoulls and Mighty Ape, as well as dedicated independent stores scattered throughout the country.

Forster said the money would go back into local communities and help prevent bookshops here from closing.