Holiday Book Sales Slipped Again

At outlets that report to NPD BookScan, unit sales of print books were down 1% in the week ended Dec. 3, 2017, from the similar week in 2016. This was the second consecutive week in the holiday season that sales were lower than at the same time last year; the previous week saw a 2% decline from the similar week in 2016. The only major category in which sales rose was juvenile nonfiction: units were 5% higher than in the week ended Dec. 4, 2016. Harry Potter: A Journey Through a History of Magic by the British Library remained the category’s top seller, with more than 28,000 copies sold in the week. Among books that posted solid gains in the week were Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes by Rob Elliott, which sold more than 13,000 copies to land in fifth place on the category bestsellers list, and How to Draw 101 Animals by Dan Green, which was in sixth place with almost 13,000 copies sold. Both the adult categories had lower sales than in the similar week in 2016. Adult fiction unit sales were down 1% from this time last year, despite two debuts: Darker: Fifty Shades Darker as Told by Christian selling more than 74,000 copies in its first week, putting it #1 on the adult fiction bestsellers list, and Danielle Steel’s Past Perfect landed in the sixth spot on the list, selling almost 28,000 copies. Adult nonfiction units fell less than 1% from the comparable week in 2016. The Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook by Laurel Randolph jumped to the top of the adult nonfiction bestseller list, selling nearly 50,000 copies. Units fell 2% in juvenile fiction. Jeff Kinney’s The Getaway remained the top-selling book in the country last week, selling more than 108,000 copies. Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae moved into third place on the category list, selling more than 42,000 copies.
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