Faced with a comparison to the release of two big hits last year at this time, unit sales of print books fell 8% last week compared to the week ended August 8, 2020, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. The biggest decline came in the young adult fiction category, in which, last year, Stephenie Meyer’s Midnight Sun sold about 527,000 copies in its first week on sale. The top-selling YA fiction book last week was Adam Silvera’s They Both Die at the End, which sold over 16,000 copies.
Adult nonfiction sales dropped 15.2% in the week and, here too, there were tough comparisons to last year. Sean Hannity’s Live Free or Die sold about 184,000 copies in its first week on sale a year ago, while Caste by Isabel Wilkerson sold approximately 78,000 copies in its first week. Mary Trump’s Too Much and Never Enough was still selling in big numbers, moving over 97,000 copies.
American Marxism by Mark Levin remained #1 in nonfiction last week, selling more than 57,000 copies. The Truth About Covid-19 by Joseph Mercola, released in April, had a big week, with sales rising to 21,500 from under 2,000 in the prior week, putting it in second place on the adult fiction list. Alexander Vindman’s Here Truth Matters was third on the category list, selling almost 16,000 copies in its first week on sale.
Adult fiction continued to be the brightest spot in the industry. Sales were up 20.4%, led by Stephen King’s Billy Summers, which sold more than 96,000 copies in its first week on sale. Summers was followed on the adult fiction list by three new graphic novels published by Viz Media: Jujutsu Kaisen, Vol. 11 by Gege Akutami sold almost 32,000 copies, followed by Demon Slayer, Vol. 23 by Koyoharu Gotouge, and Chainsaw Man, Vol. 6 by Tatsuki Fujimoto, which both sold nearly 28,000 copies.
Juvenile fiction sales were flat in the week. Sales of juvenile nonfiction had another steep decline, falling 21.5% compared to a year ago.