Unit sales of print books fell 5.5% in the week ended May 30, 2020, compared to the week ended May 23, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan.
The decline was mainly due to a 25.5% drop in unit sales in the young adult category, in which The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins sold about 270,000 copies when it was initially released. Even with the decline compared to the prior week, unit sales were up 8.1% compared to the similar week in 2019.
Last week, unit sales in the adult fiction category rose just under 1% over the prior week. Sales in the action/adventure and mystery/detective genres rose 38.2% and 21.1%, respectively.
The juvenile segments, which have done well since the pandemic struck the U.S., both had sales declines compared to the previous week. Juvenile nonfiction print units fell 10.5% as sales in the biographies/autobiographies and history/sports/people/places both fell about 20%. A 16.4% drop in sales in the holidays/festivals/religion segment contributed to the 9.4% overall decline in the juvenile fiction category compared to the prior week.
With the 8.1% increase in print unit sales year over year, sales through May 30, 2020, were down a miniscule 0.1% from the same period last year.