With only the adult and young adult fiction categories posting increases last week, unit sales of print books still rose 4.1% compared to the week ended June 6, 2020, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan.
Unit sales in the adult fiction category jumped 28% over 2020, as seven of the top 10 bestsellers in the week were new fiction releases, including the top three sellers: Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand, with more than 50,000 copies sold; Freed: Fifty Shades Freed As Told By Christian by E.L. James, with over 48,000 copies sold; and Casey McQuiston’s One Last Stop, which sold more than 31,000 copies. (Both Hilderbrand's novel and McQuiston's were the subjects of social media controversy this past week.)
Three graphic novels published by Viz Media were also among the top 10 bestsellers, and the trio sold approximately a combined 68,000 copies. Total unit sales of graphic novels jumped 207% over the comparable week last year as the sector continues to boom.
Last year at this time, books about social justice were beginning to hit the bestseller list following the May 25 murder of George Floyd. So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo and White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo were the top two sellers on the adult nonfiction list, selling approximately 36,000 and 30,000 copies, respectively. In the most recent week in 2021, The Killing of the Mob by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard was #1, selling more than 18,000 copies, followed by the newly released How the Word is Passed by Clint Smith, which sold almost 16,000 copies. Print unit sales in the segment declined 2.3% compared to a year ago.
Unit sales increased 19.7% in the young adult fiction category without the benefit of a new bestseller. Adam Silvera’s They Both Die in the End remained #1 in the segment, selling just over 15,000 copies. Unit sales fell 15.1% in the juvenile nonfiction category as sales in the largest subcategory, education/reference/language, fell 23.7%.