After unit sales of print books hit a 2020 high in the week ended June 20, sales fell 9.6% last week at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. Though units fell compared to the previous week in 2020, sales jumped 18% over the comparable period in 2019 and through the week ended June 27, 2020 unit sales were up 2% over the similar period on 2019.
Print unit sales were down in all major categories compared to the week ended June 20 with the exception of young adult nonfiction. Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You by Jason Reynolds and published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers led the gain, selling more than 30,000 copies a 145% increase over the week ended June 20.
Print unit sales declined a relatively modest 7.2% last week in the adult nonfiction segment as John Bolton’s The Room Where It Happened sold more than 221,000 print copies at outlets that report to BookScan helping to offset some of the sales declines in the week of many antiracist and social justice books. (Yesterday, S&S announced The Room sold over 780,000 copies across all formats in its first week on sale; the total also includes direct-to consumer and online sales still pending due to “extraordinary demand,” S&S said.)
While sales of a number social justice titles slid back last week, one book continued to surge in sales: White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, published by Beacon Press, had a 44% sales jump last week, selling more than 154,000 copies. The book’s year-to-date sales total has hit nearly 426,000 copies sold at outlets that report to BookScan.