With all segments except adult nonfiction posting increases, unit sales of print books rose 7% last week over the week ended October 24, 2020, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. The increase is the biggest weekly bump in months.
This week's sales numbers could indicate that consumers are heeding warnings that they should buy holiday gifts early to avoid missing out on items due to shortages caused by supply chain problems. In its financial report for the six months ended August 31, Bloomsbury Publishing said its sales received a boost because of early ordering by vendors, though third quarter sales fell 9% at Hachette Book Group compared to last year.
Once again, adult fiction had a solid week, with sales up 26.1%. Sales were led by John Grisham’s The Judge’s List, which sold more than 93,000 copies in its first week on sale, easily beating The Wish by Nicholas Sparks, which was in second place on the category bestseller list, selling over 29,000 copies. Attack on Titan 34 by Hajime Isayama was in third place, selling nearly 28,00 copies in its first week on sale.
The young adult category had the largest gain in the week, with sales up 29.6% even without the benefit of a major new release. Adam Silvera’s They Both Die at the End was #1 in the category, selling about 9,500 copies.
Juvenile fiction also had a double-digit increase, 10.9%, over last year without a big new release. J.K. Rowling’s The Christmas Pig stayed #1 in the category, selling almost 30,000 copies. A new Rowling title, Harry Potter: A Magical Year—The Illustrations of Jim Kay, landed in eighth place on the category list, selling just under 12,000 copies.
After a long slump, the juvenile nonfiction category had a sales gain last week, with sales rising 2.4%. Super Extra Deluxe Essential Handbook (Pokémon) was the top-seller in the category, selling over 9,000 copies.
Adult nonfiction sales dipped 1% in the week. Ree Drummond’s The Pioneer Woman Cooks-Super Easy! sold just over 87,000 copies in its first week on sale, taking the top spot in the category. The First 21 by Nikki Sixx was in seventh place in its first week, selling more than 14,000 copies.