Unit sales of print books rose 11.6% last week over the week ended May 30, 2020, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan and through the first five months of 2021, sales were up 22.4% over the comparable period in 2020. The adult fiction category had another big week, with sales up 25.8% over the week ended May 30, 2020. Legacy by Nora Roberts was the top-selling title in the category, selling nearly 33,000 copies in its first week on sale. Other new books that cracked the top 10 adult fiction bestseller list were Christine Feehan’s Shadow Storm, which sold more than 18,000 copies, and The Saboteurs by Clive Cussler, which sold over 14,000 copies. Through May 29, print unit sales were up 32.4% over the first five months of 2020.
Sales of print book got off to a slow holiday season start as units fell 3% in the Thanksgiving week ended November 26, compared to the comparable week in 2016, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. Units fell 9% in the mass merchandiser channel compared to last year, while sales to retailers and clubs slipped 1%.
The top-selling title in the week was Jeff Kinney’s newest Wimpy Kid book, The Getaway, which sold over 139,000 copies. A new release, Pete the Cat, by James Dean was in second place with over 104,000 copies sold. Four “5 Minute” Disney books also had a strong first week of sales with 5 Minute Disney Snuggle Stories, 5 Minute Disney Disney Princess, 5 Minute Disney Pixar, and 5 Minute Disney Avengers selling a total of roughly 281,000 copies in their first week on sale.
Despite the the 3% decline in overall sales for the week, print units were still up 2% in the first 47 weeks of 2017, over 2016.