For the second week in a row, unit sales of print books posted impressive gains over 2020 at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. Sales rose 12% last week over the week ended October 31, 2020, providing more evidence that consumers may be doing their holiday shopping early. In the prior week, sales rose 7% over 2020.
A host of new releases helped to drive sales, and all categories had sales increases over last year. Six of the top 10 bestselling books last week were new releases, led by Jeff Kinney’s Big Shot, the 16th book in his Wimpy Kid series. Big Shot sold more than 211,000 copies in its first week, up from the 195,000 copies Deep End sold last year when it was published. Overall, sales in the juvenile fiction segment rose 15% in the week. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Minalima Edition) sold almost 37,000 copies in its first week.
The adult fiction segment had a 24.3% sales increase, with only one new book landing high on the category bestseller list. Better Off Dead by Lee and Andrew Child sold over 50,000 copies, lower than the 55,000 copies The Sentinel sold a year ago. The Judge’s List by John Grisham remained #1 on the category list, selling nearly 55,000 copies.
The adult nonfiction category had its best week in months led by sales of six new books. Half Homemade, Fully Delicious by David Venable was the category’s top-selling title, with sales topping 58,000. Other new hits included Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons, which sold over 36,000 copies; Katie Couric’s Going There, which sold nearly 35,000 copies, and Renegades by Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen, which sold over 24,000 copies.
The story remained the same in young adult fiction, as a 33.3% increase was led by backlist sales topped by They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera, which sold over 8,200 copies. Cold War Correspondent by Nathan Hale sold nearly 12,000 copies in its first week on sale, helping to lift juvenile nonfiction sales by 33.2% over 2020.