After falling 10% between March 7 and March 14, print unit sales were flat in the week ended March 21, compared to the previous week at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. A huge gain in unit sales in the juvenile nonfiction category helped to offset declines in adult nonfiction and juvenile fiction. Print sales of adult fiction rose 4% over the previous week.
The 66% jump in juvenile nonfiction unit sales was led by the education/reference/language segment, where sales soared 186% over the previous week. Sales of games/activities/hobbies rose by 117%. Top titles were My First Learn-to-Write Workbook and Paint by Sticker Kids.
The gain in adult fiction was driven by a 26% increase in the suspense/thriller segment and a 17% improvement in the science fiction genre. Units dropped 18% for graphic novels compared to the previous week, and religion sales were off 14%.
The travel segment continues to be hammered, with units down 46% compared to the previous week, while unit sales of business/economics plunged 40%. Sales in the crafts/hobbies/antiques/games segment jumped 56% and humor sales increased 30%. Overall, unit sales of adult nonfiction were down 15%.
The 4% decline in juvenile fiction included a 27% drop in unit sales in the concepts category and a 16% slide in the social situations/family category.