Weakness in the two adult categories led to a 3.6% decline in overall print unit sales in the week ended Apr. 27, 2019, compared to the same week in 2018, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. The biggest decline came in fiction, where units fell 8.2%. Not even the release of the new E.L James book could lift sales in the category. James’s The Mister sold about 32,000 copies in its second week, putting it in third place on the category bestseller list, where Delia Owens’s Where the Crawdads Sing was #1 with more than 37,000 copies sold. As has been the case for much of 2019, the softness in fiction sales was not so evident toward the top of the list but was apparent further down in the midlist. Print unit sales in adult nonfiction fell 7.9% compared to the week ended Apr. 28, 2018. Last year at this time, Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines sold more than 233,000 copies in its first week. Second place on the adult nonfiction list last year was A Higher Loyalty by James Comey, which sold more than 87,000 copies. Topping the category list in the week ended Apr. 27, 2019, was Scribner’s edition of the Mueller Report, which sold just under 42,000 copies. The 13.4% increase in unit sales in the juvenile nonfiction segment was led by We Are the Gardeners by Joanna Gaines, which sold more than 8,000 copies. And even though Easter had come and gone by the beginning of the week, a number of titles related to the holy day remained at the top of the category list, including The Easter Story by Patricia Pingry and The Story of Jesus by Jane Werner Watson, which sold about 7,000 and 6,000 copies, respectively.

Total Sales of Print Books

(in thousands)

Apr. 28, 2018 Apr. 27, 2019 Chge Week Chge YTD
Total 11,459 11,050 -3.6% -3.7%

Unit Sales of Print Books by Category

(in thousands)

Apr. 28, 2018 Apr. 27, 2019 Chge Week Chge YTD
Adult Nonfiction 5,276 4,860 -7.9% -2.8%
Adult Fiction 2,267 2,082 -8.2% -6.3%
Juvenile Nonfiction 889 1,007 13.4% 0%
Juvenile Fiction 2,495 2,628 5.3% -3.4%
Young Adult Fiction 332 298 -10.3% -1.3%
Young Adult Nonfiction 41 38 -7.5% -0.7%

Unit Sales of Print Books by Format

(in thousands)

Apr. 28, 2018 Apr. 27, 2019 Chge Week Chge YTD
Hardcover 3,548 3,348 -5.6% 2.4%
Trade Paperback 6,195 5,909 -4.6% -5.7%
Mass Market Paperback 905 691 -23.7% -16.0%
Board Books 517 809 56.4% 3.3%
Audio 41 27 -32.8% -26.7%