Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming, may have been released late in the year (its pub date was November 13), but that didn’t stop it from easily becoming the bestselling print book of 2018. According to NPD BookScan, Becoming sold 3.4 million print copies in the year, far outpacing Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines, which was in second place with 1.3 million units sold. Obama’s sales peaked in the last full week before Christmas, when her memoir sold over 712,000 copies at outlets that report to BookScan. That figure topped the 710,000 copies it sold in its first week on sale.
Adult nonfiction Aas been the strongest performing category among the major publishing segments this year, and when the final figures are confirmed, unit sales will be up about 5% over 2017. That strength is reflected in the number of titles the category placed among the top 20 bestsellers of the year; the segment had 10 of the top 20 sellers. Two much-discussed Trump-related books, Fire and Fury and Fear, were numbers five and seven, respectively, on the year-end list.
The highest-ranking adult fiction title was the collaboration between James Patterson and Bill Clinton that produced The President Is Missing, which sold over 703,000 print copies, landing it in 10th place on the year-end bestsellers list. In all, only four adult fiction print titles made the top 20 bestseller list.
Six children’s books hit the top 20, led by Jeff Kinney’s The Meltdown, which was #4 with 1.1 million copies sold.
Last year also appears to have been a better year for frontlist than 2017. Five books sold more than one million print copies in 2018, all of which were new books. Only four backlist titles cracked the top 20. In 2017, the two bestselling titles were the backlist books Wonder and Milk and Honey.
Print Bestsellers, 2018
|2||Magnolia Table||Joanna Gaines||William Morrow||1,308,227|
|3||Girl, Wash Your Face||Rachel Hollis||Thomas Nelson||1,280,464|
|4||The Meltdown||Jeff Kinney||Amulet||1,144,649|
|5||Fire and Fury||Michael Wolff||Henry Holt||1,016,014|
|6||The Wonky Donkey||Craig Smith||Scholastic Paperbacks||973,851|
|7||Fear||Bob Woodward||Simon & Schuster||972,750|
|8||Dog Man and Cat Kid||Dav Pilkey||Graphix||716,329|
|9||Your Are a Badass||Jen Sincero||Running Press||712,990|
|10||The President Is Missing||Patterson/Clinton||Little, Brown/Knopf||703,230|
|11||12 Rules for Life||Jordan B. Patterson||Random House Canada||692,238|
|12||Dog Man||Dav Pilkey||Graphix||690,692|
|13||A Wrinkle in Time||Madeleine L’Engle||Square Fish||630,795|
|14||The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck||Mark Manson||Harper||626,818|
|15||A Higher Loyalty||James Comey||Flatiron||611,737|
|16||Crazy Rich Asians||Kevin Kwan||Anchor||595,457|
|17||The Reckoning||John Grisham||Doubleday||566,728|
|18||A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo||Marlon Bundo||Chronicle||544,475|
|19||Oh, the Places You’ll Go!||Dr. Seuss||Random House Books for Young Readers||540,665|