Last year at this time, a new Dav Pilkey title hit the shelves and Easter was the next week. This year, neither is the case, and as a result, unit sales of print books sank by 19.8% last week compared to the week ended March 27, 2021, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan.
Pilkey’s Dog Man: Mothering Heights, sold more than 236,000 copies when it was released last year, easily making it the top-selling book of the week a year ago. Absent a similar strong showing this year, juvenile fiction sales dropped by 29.1% last week. Last week, Alice Schertle’s Little Blue Truck’s Springtime was the #1 seller in the category, selling scant of 19,000 copies.
A couple of Easter books began to pick up steam last week, but were not selling in the same numbers as a year ago. Marilyn Sadler’s It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny and How to Catch the Easter Bunny by Adam Wallace were in second and third place on the category list last year selling about 17,000 and 16,000 copies, respectively.
Young adult fiction sales dropped 15.5% compared to a week ago when They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera was picking up TikTok steam and sold over 17,000 copies. Last week, A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson was #1, selling over 9,000 copies.
Unit sales tumbled 29.1% in the juvenile nonfiction category. Easter-related subcategories took the biggest hit, with sales down 37.1% in the games/activities/hobbies category and off 35.8% in the holidays/festivals/religion segment.
Sales in the adult nonfiction segment took a hefty 17.1% drop last week due to the strength of the entire list in 2021. James Clear’s backlist title, Atomic Habits, was tops in the category last week, selling more than 22,000 copies. A year ago, Eat Better, Feel Better by Giada DeLaurentis was the top-seller, selling almost 21,000 copies.
Once again, adult fiction was the only category to have a sales increase over 2021 with units rising 1.2%. It was an old favorite that led the increase: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens was #1 in the category, selling over 51,000 copies. The highest-ranking new book on the category list was Janet Evanovich’s The Recovery Agent, which sold more than 22,000 copies.
With one more week to go in the BookScan first quarter, print unit sales were down 7.4% compared to a year ago.