Unit sales of print books dipped 0.2% last week compared to the week ended December 5, 2020, ending a long string of weekly sales growth. Only adult fiction and young adult fiction had sales increases over last year at outlets that report to NPD BookScan.
Sales in the largest category, adult nonfiction, fell 2.2% last week compared to 2020, when A Promised Land by Barack Obama sold more than 358,000 copies. The top seller in the category last week was Atlas of the Heart by Brené Brown, which sold nearly 153,000 copies in its first week on sale. In second place on the category bestseller list was The Pioneer Woman Cooks-Super Easy! by Ree Drummond, which sold almost 36,000 copies.
Juvenile fiction sales fell 6.6% despite a solid showing by Dav Pilkey’s Cat Kid Comic Club: Perspectives, which sold more than 113,000 copies in its first week on sale. Last year at this time, Pilkey’s first volume in the Cat Kid series sold almost 127,000 copies. Big Shot, the latest edition in Jeff Kinney's popular Wimpy Kid series, was #2, selling over 78,000 copies.
Growth in the adult fiction category slowed last week, but still had a 12.3% increase over 2020. Diane Gabaldon’s Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone remained #1 on the category bestseller list, selling over 47,000 copies. A new release, Jodi Picoult’s Wish You Were Here, was # 2, selling over 42,000 copies in its first week on sale.
The 4.5% increase in unit sales in the young adult fiction segment was led by backlist titles. Adam Silvera’s They Both Die at the End was in the top spot, selling more than 13,000 copies. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson, published in January 2021, was in second place on the list, selling over 10,000 copies.