Despite the release of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins at this time last year, unit sales of print books managed to rise 2.3% last week over the week ended May 23, 2020, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. Following its release last May, the most recent addition to Collins' Hunger Games saga sold more than 271,000 copies in its first week on sale. The comparison to one of last year’s blockbusters dropped unit sales in the young adult fiction segment by 24.4% for the week. The #1 selling title in the category in the most recent week was Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone, which sold over 13,000 copies.
The juvenile nonfiction category had its worst week so far this year, with units falling 21.3% compared to the same week the year prior, when parents were still heavily buying books to teach their children at home. My First Learn-to-Write Workbook by Crystal Radke was on top of the category last year and this time, selling more than 20,000 and it was tops in the segment again in last week, selling just over 7,000 copies.
Offsetting declines in the YA fiction and juvenile nonfiction categories was another solid increase in the adult fiction category, with unit sales rising by 14.9% despite no big new titles. The graphic novel subcategory continued to be the big driver in the adult category, with units soaring 210% to more than 664,000 units sold, up from about 214,000 copies a year ago.
Adult nonfiction sales increased 4% in the week as the category had the two bestselling new books. John Green’s The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centric Planet sold more than 57,000 copies, and Daniel Howell’s You Will Get Through The Night sold more than 26,000 copies.