With all categories except for adult fiction having declines, unit sales of print books fell 5.2% in the week ended September 4, 2021, from the comparable week in 2020, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan.
Sales of adult fiction increased 11.2% over the week ended September 5, 2020. It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover had another solid week, with sales of more than 25,000 copies, landing it in first place on the category bestseller list for the first time since its 2016 publication thanks to the power of TikTok. The new book by The Girl on the Train author Paula Hawkins, A Slow Fire Burning, was second on the list, selling just over 22,000 copies. A new manga collection, Berserk: Deluxe Edition, Volume 8 by Kentaro Mira, was in fifth place, selling nearly 14,000 copies.
Juvenile fiction unit sales declined 10.2% from a year ago, when Dav Pilkey’s Dog Man: Grime and Punishment sold almost 240,000 copies in its first week on sale while another new release, Gale Gilligan’s Logan Likes Mary Anne!, sold more than 32,000 copies. Last week, Alice Schertle’s Little Blue Truck’s Halloween was #1, selling over 15,000 copies. Spy School at Sea by Stuart Gibbs was the bestselling new book in the category, selling almost 14,000 copies.
Sales in young adult fiction, which are up 34.2% in the year to date, fell 2.2% in the week compared to a year ago, when copies of Stephenie Meyer’s Midnight Sun were still selling in high numbers (roughly 45,000 in the comparable week last year). Last week, Adam Silvera’s They Both Die at the End stayed #1 in the category, selling nearly 13,000 copies.
Despite two new books landing in second and third place on the adult nonfiction bestseller list, sales in the segment fell 4.9%. Last year, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff’s Melanie and Me sold more than 50,000 copies in its first week on sale. Last week, Kim Laidlaw’s The Nightmare Before Christmas was #2, selling over 17,000 copies, and Craig Whitlock’s The Afghanistan Papers sold just under 17,000 copies. Mark Levin's American Marxism stayed #1 in the category, selling more than 21,000 copies.
Juvenile fiction had another tough week, with sales down 17.4%. Through the first week of September, sales in the category are now down 7.6% from a year ago. But despite a mostly soft summer of sales compared to 2020, total year-to-date sales increased 12.8% over 2020.