Unit sales of print books rose 3.1% last week over the previous week in 2021, but were still down 1.3% compared to the week ended August 15, 2020, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan.
Sales of adult nonfiction had another down week, with units off 8.5% from a year ago despite a good showing of books written from a conservative perspective. Mark Levin’s American Marxism remained #1 in the category, selling more than 58,000 copies; it has sold over 665,000 print copies since its July 13 release. A new book by Tucker Carlson, The Long Slide, was in second place on the category list, selling nearly 30,000 copies. Last year at this time, conservative favorite Sean Hannity’s Live Free or Die was #1, selling just under 108,000 copies, followed by Mary Trump’s Too Much and Never Enough, which sold about 51,000 copies.
The juvenile nonfiction segment posted another big decline, with units down 18.3%. The only subcategories that had gains were the two smallest: holidays/festivals/religion and social situations/family/health had increases of 1.9% and 6.1%, respectively.
Young adult fiction sales slipped 0.4%, rallying from a deep dive in the prior week, when it was faced with comparisons to Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer, which sold about 527,000 copies in its first week on sale. Last year at this time, sales of Midnight Sun slowed to 139,000 copies, and while sales of the #1 seller in the category in the most recent week, They Die at That End by Adam Silvera, sold just under 18,000, the depth of sales throughout the segment pulled sales in the category to almost even with 2020.
As has been the case for more than a month, adult fiction had the best performance in the week. Print unit sales rose 24.5% without the benefit of a major new hit. Stephen King’s Billy Summers remained #1 in the category, selling almost 50,000 copies. It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover continued a strong run five years after its initial release, selling over 29,000 copies. The top selling new novel was The Return by Nicholas Sparks, which sold more than 14,000 copies.
Sales in juvenile fiction inched up 1.2% with a combination of backlist favorites and back-to-school books selling well. Dav Pilkey’s Dog Man: Mothering Heights was #1 in the category, selling over 14,000 copies, while D.J. Steinberg’s Kindergarten, Here I Come! was second, selling more than 13,000 copies.
Through the week ended August 14,2021, unit sales of print books were up 13.8% over the comparable week in 2020 at outlets that report to BookScan.