With sales down in three of the four major publishing segments, unit sales of print books at outlets that report to NPD BookScan were 2% lower in the week ended Aug. 27, 2017, than in the similar week in 2016. The only category in which sales were up was juvenile nonfiction: units were 9% higher than in the week ended Aug. 28, 2016. While educational books were still prevalent on the juvenile nonfiction bestseller list, two new titles cracked the top 10: Solar Eclipse 2017 was in fifth place on the list, selling more than 4,300 copies, and Who Is Alexander Hamilton? by Pam Pollack landed at #8, selling slightly more than 4,000 copies. Unit sales in the juvenile fiction category were down 1%, the smallest decline in a month affected by the 2016 summer release of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The book, which sold 2.5 million copies in its first week out last year, sold about 150,000 copies in the week ended Aug. 28, 2016. The top seller in the juvenile fiction segment was once again Wonder by R.J. Palacio, which sold about 27,000 copies. Unit sales of print books were down 3% compared to 2016 in both the adult fiction and nonfiction categories. In adult nonfiction, Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey held onto the top spot on the category bestseller list, selling more than 17,000 copies. Last year, Amy Schumer’s The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo was #1, with more than 30,000 copies sold. There were no new releases that finished high on the adult nonfiction list last week; the book that had the biggest gain was Make Your Bed by William McRaven, which sold more than 15,000 copies, putting it in third place. In the top spot on the adult fiction list was Y Is for Yesterday, the newest novel by Sue Grafton, which sold more than 51,000 copies. In the similar week last year, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins sold about 75,000 copies in three editions (including two movie tie-in versions).

Unit Sales of Print Books by Channel

(in thousands)

Aug. 28, 2016 Aug. 27, 2017 Chge Week Chge YTD
Total 12,792 12,504 -2% 2%
Retail & Club 11,225 11,134 -1% 4%
Mass Merch./Others 1,568 1,370 -13% -9%

Unit Sales of Print Books by Category

(in thousands)

Aug. 28, 2016 Aug. 27, 2017 Chge Week Chge YTD
Adult Nonfiction 5,873 5,672 -3% 2%
Adult Fiction 2,675 2,593 -3% -0.3%
Juvenile Nonfiction 930 1,019 9% 6%
Juvenile Fiction 2,919 2,881 -1% 2%

Unit Sales of Print Books by Format

(in thousands)

Aug. 28, 2016 Aug. 27, 2017 Chge Week Chge YTD
Hardcover 2,922 2,882 -1% 4%
Trade Paperback 7,845 7,664 -2% 2%
Mass Market Paperback 1,155 1,045 -9% -8%
Board Books 485 542 12% 12%
Audio 72 57 -21% -10%