Hats Off to Harper Lee

With first-week print unit sales of more than 746K, Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman sold almost three times as many units this week as the next 99 bestselling frontlist hardcover fiction titles combined. Watchman is #1 on our Hardcover Fiction list—and the #1 book in the country—and Lee’s name is ubiquitous across our various other lists. In addition to Watchman, three backlist editions of To Kill a Mockingbird appear on our top 10 overall list. You’ll also find two frontlist editions of Mockingbird in Hardcover Fiction: a conventional release at #12 and a slipcased edition at #19. Including the 10.6K units that the large-print edition of Watchman sold (it’s at #3 on our Trade Paperback list ), that adds up to another 120K prints units for Lee this week. Here’s how print unit sales of Mockingbird break down:

The 1988 Grand Central mass market edition 36K units
The 2006 Harper Perennial Modern Classic trade paper edition 33.3K units
The 2005 Harper Perennial Modern Classic trade paper edition 28.9K units
The Harper conventional hardcover edition 6,738 units
The Harper slipcased hardcover edition 4,404 units

(See all of this week's bestselling books.)

A World of Difference

A day after the June 17 shootings in Charleston, S.C., Ta-Nehisi Coates, national correspondent for the Atlantic, wrote a post titled “Take Down the Confederate Flag—Now.” (The article has been shared 346K times on Facebook and retweeted 22K times.) A week after the post, Spiegel & Grau, which had planned to publish Coates’s Between the World and Me on September 8, moved up the release date to July 14. The book has garnered healthy media attention as well as sales, and debuts this week at #2 on our Hardcover Nonfiction list, with nearly 25K print units sold (it’s the #10 book overall). That’s almost double what the author’s previous book of nonfiction, 2008’s The Beautiful Struggle, has sold in hardcover and trade paper combined since its 2008 release.

Game On

Armada, the second gaming-centric science fiction title by Ernest Cline, debuts at #3 on our Hardcover Fiction list, with 18.8K print units sold. That number may bode well for the book’s potential longevity: his first novel, 2011’s Ready Player One, sold 2,722 units in hardcover its first week and went on to sell 46.5K in hardcover to date. The trade paperback has sold nearly 250K units; in March, Steven Spielberg signed on to direct the movie version.

Notable Debuts

The Conservative Heart
by Arthur C. Brooks
#7 Hardcover Nonfiction
7,391 print units

Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute and a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, presents a social justice agenda for what he calls the New Right.

It’s Good to Be Gronk
by Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski
4,469 print units
Hardcover Nonfiction #14

The New England Patriots tight end is more than an NFL hotshot and memoir author; he’s also the subject of an eponymous erotica series, which began earlier this year with A Gronking to Remember.

Straight to Hell
by John LeFevre
#18 Hardcover Fiction
3,603 print units

A look at the bro-tastic world of investment banking by the man behind formerly anonymous Twitter account @GSElevator; he lost his previous book deal after it was revealed that he did not, in fact, work at Goldman Sachs.

Top 10 Overall

Rank Title Author Imprint Units
1 Go Set a Watchman Harper Lee Harper 746,805
2 Grey E.L. James Vintage 87,231
3 Paper Towns John Green Penguin/Speak 44,700
4 To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee Grand Central 36,004
5 To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee Harper Perennial (2006) 33,326
6 The Isle of the Lost (Descendants) Melissa de la Cruz Disney-Hyperion 31,120
7 The Girl on the Train Paula Hawkins Riverhead 30,415
8 To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee Harper Perennial (2005) 28,853
9 The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Marie Kondo Ten Speed 25,307
10 Between the World and Me Ta-Nehisi Coates Random/Spiegel & Grau 24,970