[photo g max-width=600[Strong debuts for several new releases and the arrival of Easter week led to a 64% increase in print unit sales for the week ended April 3, 2021, over the comparable week in 2020 at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. And while unit sales fell because of the pandemic this time last year, last week’s sales were still more than 50% higher than sales in the comparable week in 2019.
Leading the bestseller list last week was Amanda Gorman’s The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country, which sold nearly 215,000 copies in its first week on sale. Gorman read the poem at the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden in January. The success of The Hill We Climb helped to drive up unit sales by almost 81% last week over 2020 in the adult nonfiction category.
Other new titles that had a good sales week were Shannon Bream’s The Women of them Bible Speak, which sold over 84,000 copies, and Leigh Bardugo’s YA fiction title Rule of Wolves, which sold nearly 26,000 copies.
The juvenile fiction category enjoyed a 71% Easter bump over last year, when the holiday fell on April 11. Dog Man: Mothering Heights sold over 175,000 copies last week, and Easter/spring titles dominated the top of the category bestseller list.
The strong finish to the first quarter contributed to a 29.2% increase in unit sales of print books over the first quarter of 2020.