Unit sales of print books rose 8.8% in the week ended May 15, 2021, over the comparable week in 2020 at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. Adult fiction continued to see solid gains, with units up 19.2% over the week ended May 16, 2020. Within the adult segment, graphic novels continued to lead the way, with units up 188%. New releases also contributed, led by While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams, which sold about 23,000 copies in its first week. Diana Palmer’s Texas Dare followed, selling almost 22,000 copies, and Jennifer Weiner’s That Summer sold approximately 16,000 copies in its first week. Unit sales of adult nonfiction increased 3.6% compared to 2020. As in recent weeks, subcategories that were hurt by the pandemic are seeing a rebound, led by travel (up almost 100%); business and economics (up 31.6%); and history, law, political science
(up 24.8%). Among the new releases, Seth Rogen’s Yearbook sold about 32,000 copies and Billie Eilish’s autobiography sold about 27,000 copies in their first weeks. The YA categories saw big gains in the week. YA fiction was up nearly 76%, and YA nonfiction rose 19.4%. Juvenile nonfiction, on the other hand, had another decline, with sales falling 8.4% from the comparable week a year ago. The biggest drop came in education, reference, and language titles, which fell 32.2%. For the year to date, print unit sales were down 1.4% in the juvenile fiction category compared to 2020.