In the last full shopping week before Christmas, unit sales of print books rose 5.2% over the week ended December 12 at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. But unlike many weeks in 2020, unit sales fell compared to 2019, with unit sales down 3.5% from the week ended December 21, 2019.
The adult segments led the gain over the week ended December 12. Unit sales of adult nonfiction increased 10.3% over the prior week as Barack Obama’s A Promised Land remained the top-seller, selling more than 327,000 copies. Since its release November 17, the memoir has been the #1 selling book in the country every week and has sold over 2,254,000 copies at outlets that report to BookScan.
Other strong adult nonfiction bestsellers were Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey, which sold over 76,000 copies, and Brandon Stanton’s Humans, which sold over 47,000 copies.
Adult fiction sales increased 8.7% over December 12 led by sales of Charlie Mackesy’s The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse which sold nearly 53,000 copies in the week and John Grisham’s A Time for Mercy, which also sold almost 53,000 copies.
The juvenile fiction segment had a 3.2% sales decline in the week. The category’s three top sellers – Cat Kid Comic Club and Dog Man: Grime and Punishment, both by Dav Pilkey, had sales declines of 13% and 5%, respectively, while Jeff Kinney’s The Deep End had a 7% decline in weekly sales.
Despite the off week, sales through December 19, 2020 rose 7.8% over the comparable week in 2019 at outlets that report to NPD BookScan.