Even casual observers of popular culture know all too well that Taylor Swift has reached new heights of icon status in the past year. The singer-songwriter’s influence can be seen everywhere from the economic boom created by her global Eras Tour to college courses parsing her song lyrics and business strategies, to television ratings for NFL games she attends. And publishing has been part of the fray. As one chart-topping example, Taylor Swift: A Little Golden Book Biography by Wendy Loggia, illustrated by Elisa Chavarri, was the third highest-selling book in PW’s 2023 Children’s Bestsellers ranking.

With demand for all things Taylor still going strong—her latest double (surprise!) album The Tortured Poets Department dropped barely a week ago, selling a record 1.4 million copies in its first day and setting numerous music-streaming records, and she’s set to kick off the European leg of her Eras Tour on May 9 in Paris—we took a look at a swath of Swift-inspired projects, including the exclusive announcement of two titles from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

LBYR plans a September 3 release for both the YA anthology Poems for Tortured Souls, selected by Liz Ison (50,000-copy first printing) and the picture book The 13 Days of Swiftness: A Christmas Celebration for Fans by Tiffany Garland, illustrated by Brook O’Neill (500,000-opy first printing). V-p and executive editorial director Lisa Yoskowitz, who edited Poems for Tortured Souls, said the decision to acquire these titles springs from a solid tradition. “A key component of children’s publishing has always been making sure we have books that speak to kids’ interests and passions,” she noted. “And there’s no question that millions of kids around the world are interested in and passionate about Taylor Swift’s music!”

And not just kids, she added. “Taylor’s music has been the soundtrack to which many LBYRers work and live for well over a decade now. Taylor Swift is the favorite in my home, and I’m excited to be able to share these books with my own elementary schooler and her friends, all of whom are major Swifties.”

Mary-Kate Gaudet, executive editor at LBYR, who edited The 13 Days of Swiftness, believes there’s a still-growing audience to reach with this kind of project. “Taylor Swift is omnipresent and as we’ve seen in both stadiums and in theaters, there’s a whole new generation of younger fans eager to get their hands on anything and everything related to their idol,” she said. “Luckily, we have quite a few of her older fans in-house, an unofficial brain trust of sorts, who have provided invaluable insight towards the development of these books.”

Gaudet pointed out that LBYR has already “seen some incredible success when publishing for passionate fans,” and names The Office: A Day at Dunder Mifflin Elementary and Golden Girls: Goodnight, Girls as examples. “In that sense, we see The 13 Days of Swiftness as more of an homage to fandom than a celebrity-inspired book.”

Fall publication was a given, according to Gaudet, for a picture book with a holiday theme, but her team additionally saw there was some blank space in the holiday arena. “It’s well documented how much Taylor Swift loves Christmas, and we noticed a surprising lack of holiday-themed Taylor books in the market.” When looking to produce a celebrity-inspired title, however, “There’s always a general concern that some trends may be so short-lived that they fizzle before books can get to market,” she said. “But Taylor’s notoriety has become historical while still being supremely contemporary. At this point the question becomes: what do we need to do to create the best book we can while getting it in readers’ hands as soon as possible?”

Yoskowitz sees Poems for Tortured Souls as well-positioned with a fall release, too. “There’s already a lot of terrific content out in the market, largely focused on biography and trivia,” she said. “Our books aren’t meant to compete with those projects; they meet a different need. Poems for Tortured Souls is a soulful, beautiful collection that’s perfect for older Swift fans, poetry lovers, and people just discovering verse alike. The stunning package will pop on any table, and it makes a perfect gift item.”

In addition to plans for major retail merchandising, fan-targeted advertising, and lifestyle social media content, the LBYR marketing and publicity teams have created a “Swiftie Gifty” sweepstakes for both books.


Who Is Taylor Swift? by Kirsten Anderson, illustrated by Gregory Copeland, joined the Who Was? biography series in Penguin Workshop’s Who HQ line on April 2. “There are many Taylor Swift fans at Penguin Workshop!” president and publisher Francesco Sedita said, explaining how the book took shape. “The conversation certainly started in a fan-like way but as we talked about Taylor and the Who HQ series, we realized she was the perfect choice for a contemporary biography,” he added. “Who HQ is all about people, events, and places that are forever part of history, and there’s no denying that Taylor Swift more than deserves a seat at the HQ table.”

Though Sedita noted that the Who HQ brand is consistently trusted by teachers and collected by kids “like baseball cards,” landing on just the right time to release Who Is Taylor Swift? was mostly luck. “We plan out the Who HQ publication list a couple of years in advance, and we had Taylor scheduled for later this year. Luckily, the editor and designer were able to expedite the publication and here we are.”

Early response to the book has been “tremendous,” Sedita said. “We’re giving fans the story of how Taylor Swift became, well, Taylor Swift. And that cover is everything.” The book has already sold 55,000 copies since its publication three weeks ago, in outlets that report to BookScan.

“Wildest Dreams”

Taylor Swift: Wildest Dreams, a Biography by Erica Wainer, illustrated by Joanie Stone, is due out December 3 from Clarion, with a first printing of 50,000 copies. When asked why they wanted to publish the picture book biography, editor Chris Krones said, “Are you ready for it? As someone who grew up feeling euphoric when voguing in front of MTV with the queen of pop herself, I’ve always believed in pop music and its ability to empower people and make them feel themselves. I saw how powerful Swift is as a music icon and the massive impact her music has on her fans to love themselves and find joy. Whether it be shaking off criticism or dressing in sequins and letting their own sparks fly on the way to the Eras Tour, they are spreading joy and sharing their uniqueness with the rest of the world.”

Krones added that they were not alone in their enthusiasm for taking on this project. “When I presented the idea to the team in-house, so many Swifties came out of the woodwork,” they said. “There’s at least one Swiftie from every department working on [this].”

Krones was drawn to another aspect of this particular text as well. “People are enchanted by Taylor Swift’s story in how—and how young—she rose to fame as a singer-songwriter,” they said. “What is most interesting to me, brought to my attention by the book’s author, is how her first love, before even learning how to play the guitar, was writing. And you can feel this in her lyrics. This felt rich as a book subject.”

In order to catch some of the warmth from Swift’s currently white-hot spotlight, “The best time to release Taylor Swift: Wildest Dreams, A Biography was basically ‘how quickly can we make this book’ and we did so at the speed of light,” Krones said. “I am so thankful for our team of creators, in-house and out, for making the book so swiftly.”


Scholastic has big plans for a pair of Swift biographies on deck for fall. Taylor Swift: Her Story, aimed at readers ages six to eight, arrives on August 6, and Taylor Swift: All Access by Emma Carlson Berne, for ages seven to 10, arrives September 3. “We’re already planning for a six-figure print run for each title, but the number could easily go up!” said Beth Dunfey, associate publisher of licensing, brands, and media, as well as acquiring editor for both books.

“We always want to publish books about contemporary subjects that kids connect with, so Taylor was an obvious choice,” she said. “We also feel that Taylor is such an inspirational role model for kids—she believes in herself and her voice, and that’s something we always want to empower kids to do.”

Dunfey fell sway to the Taylor Swift factor. “I wasn’t a Swiftie before acquiring these books,” she said. “I knew Taylor’s music and liked it, but I didn’t consider myself a huge fan. But I’ve definitely become a bigger fan since working on these books and learning more of her story! And our production editor and creative director are self-proclaimed Swifties.”

Taylor Swift: All Access launches a new line of books focusing on popular figures in sports and entertainment, according to Dunfey. “We also have books planned about Travis Kelce and Lionel Messi, and more will follow,” she said. In the case of Her Story, “We wanted to get the book out as soon as possible,” Dunfey said. “And for both books, it was important to get them out in time for Scholastic’s book clubs and fairs. They will be featuring both books on their fall 2024 lists.”

Dunfey believes her team found creative ways to differentiate their titles from competitors. “We surveyed the Taylor Swift books that are already on the market, and we saw that a lot of them are illustrated, so we decided to make ours heavily photographic,” she said. “We’ve discovered so many great photos of Taylor from the Eras Tour, and we are betting that kids will pick up Scholastic’s books so they can relive Taylor’s journey in pictures.”

Format plays a role as well. In the spirit of making books accessible and fun for young readers, Dunfey said, “We decided to publish Her Story in a 6x9 trim, with relatively simple text, since we know there are a lot of Taylor fans out there who are as young as first and second grade, and we wanted them to be able to read her story on their own.”

“Gold Rush”

“Our Taylor Swift Little Golden Book Biography was the first to arrive at the party,” said Andrea Posner-Sanchez, editorial director of the LBG Biography series at Random House Children’s Books, characterizing what helps set the book apart as more titles enter the Swiftverse. For the publication of Taylor Swift: A Little Golden Book Biography on May 2, 2023, RHCB printed 300,000 copies, according to Posner-Sanchez. A year later, “We have since returned to press 16 times,” she said, “and we currently have 2.3 million copies in print.” To date, Posner-Sanchez says the book has far outsold any other titles in the LGB Biography series and has appeared on the PW bestseller list for 50 consecutive weeks and counting.

Posner-Sanchez admits she was hesitant about acquiring the book when the idea was first suggested. “We had just started to ramp up our publishing of Little Golden Book Biographies and we were having success with books about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Frida Kahlo, Betty White, and Dolly Parton—notable, inspirational people who had lived very full lives,” she said. “I thought Taylor was too young. Wendy Loggia, the book’s author, and a fellow editor at Random House Children’s Books, is a huge Swiftie. As I discovered more and more Swiftie colleagues, I started to realize how broad and impassioned Taylor’s fan base truly is. Thankfully, that helped change my mind!”

The timing of publication was serendipitous. “We got lucky that our Taylor Swift biography pubbed as Taylor was touring—that wasn’t planned!” Posner-Sanchez said. “It’s obviously ideal to have a celebrity bio release at a time when everyone is talking about them. If a celebrity is releasing an autobiography or winning a big award, you know that [person] will be on all the talk shows, getting lots of exposure. But there often isn’t much notice before such a thing happens, and it takes time to create our books. Some events we can plan for: the Olympics, the Grammys, a milestone birthday. I think this was the perfect marriage of an iconic person and an iconic brand, coming together at the exact right time.”

Marketing efforts have primarily focused on creating content that will appeal to Taylor Swift fans on various social media platforms, often highlighting the book’s illustrations. Posner-Sanchez credits author Loggia with doing “many signings and engaging with fans online, reposting fan posts and Reels and sharing photos of the book ‘out in the wild.’ ” There has also been an incredible amount of enthusiasm among the media. We’ve seen coverage everywhere from Rolling Stone to the Wall Street Journal to Buzzfeed, who recently called it ‘the Swiftie bible, aka the most important book published in all of 2023.’ ”

“Dear Reader”

Among the other Swift biographies that are already out or hitting shelves soon are You Are Fearless: A Book for the Littlest Taylor Swift Fans, illustrated by Laura Catrinella (Odd Dot, Feb.); Taylor Swift by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara, illustrated by Borghild Fallberg (June), new to the Little People, Big Dreams series from Frances Lincoln Children’s Books; Taylor Swift: A Baby’s First Biography by J.D. Forester, illustrated by Sophie Beer (Grosset & Dunlap, Oct.), a Tiny Idols book; Have You Heard of Taylor Swift?, illustrated by Una Woods (Silver Dolphin, Sept.); The Story of Taylor Swift by Rachelle Burk (Callisto Kids, Sept.); and picture book Let’s Meet Taylor: Story of a Superstar by Claire Baker and Alexandra Koken, illustrated by Mariana Avila (Kingfisher, Mar.), which has more than 300,000 copies in print since its release last month.

On the YA front, several recent and forthcoming novels have been inspired by Swift’s lyrics or song titles, including Begin Again by Emma Lord (Wednesday, Jan.), This Is Me Trying by Racquel Marie (Feiwel and Friends, Apr.); Six More Months of June by Daisy Garrison (Flatiron, June); Afterglow by Phil Stamper (Bloomsbury, Feb.); and I Wish You Would by Eva Des Lauriers (Holt, May).

Trivia and activity books are in the mix, too. A lead title in this pack is 96 Facts About Taylor Swift by Arie Kaplan, illustrated by Risa Rodil, which was released by Grosset & Dunlap last September, as part of its middle grade 96 Facts About… series highlighting figures in the entertainment world. In addition to biographical information and quizzes, the book contains extra pages with writing prompts inviting readers to share their thoughts on such themes as “The Soundtrack of Your Life” and “Overcoming Your Fear.” The book has sold 95,000 copies so far this year in outlets reporting to BookScan. Other books in this vein vying for kids’ attention include Mad Libs: For the Fans: Taylor Swift Edition (Mad Libs, Feb.), which retailers reporting to BookScan tally as selling 66,000 copies year-to-date; and The Essential Taylor Swift Fanbook (Mortimer’s Children’s, Mar.).

Though it’s tough to predict when Taylor Swift Fever may cool, Swiftie readers of all ages have plenty to celebrate. As Posner-Sanchez said. “Taylor isn’t just having a moment. She is the moment.”

This article has been updated with additional information.