Print unit sales rose 37.4% in the week ended Mar. 20, 2021, over the comparable week in 2020, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan, but year-to-year comparisons are starting to get more complex, as sales at this time last year were becoming more affected by the spreading pandemic. With one notable exception, unit sales had solid gains over the week ended Mar. 21, 2020. The one outlier was juvenile nonfiction, where sales fell 24.5% compared to a year ago, when parents began buying educational books in droves for their children who were home as schools shut down. Last year at this time, Crystal Radke’s My First Learn-to-Write Workbook sold over 29,000 copies, and seven other books among the top 10 category bestsellers with Workbook in their title sold a total of about 110,000 copies. In the week ended Mar. 20, 2021, Radke’s book was once again #1, but it sold a relatively modest 8,187 copies. Unit sales jumped 60% in juvenile fiction, led by Jeff Kinney’s Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Spooky Stories, which sold more than 46,000 copies in its first week. Adult nonfiction units soared 52.9% over 2020, driven by the release of five titles. Don Lemon’s This Is the Fire was #1 on the category list, selling more than 30,000 copies. Giada De Laurentiis’s Eat Better, Feel Better was in third place, selling more than 25,000 copies. Harlan Coben’s Win landed in the top spot on the adult fiction list, selling over 32,000 copies. Units in the category increased 33.8%.
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