The shift in Easter book buying moved in favor of the publishing industry last week (Easter was April 4 last year, compared to April 17 this year), resulting in a 10.2% increase in unit sales of print books over the week ended April 10, 2021.
The children's category led the increase, with fiction sales up 38.2% and nonfiction sales rising 26.7%. All subcategories had substantial gains over a year ago at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. In fiction, sales jumped 138% in the holidays/festivals/religion subcategory and rose 58.6% in the concept genre. The #1 title in the category was Tui T. Sutherland’s The Flames of Hope (Wings of Fire #15), which sold just under 80,000 copies in its first week on sale. The remainder of the top 10 titles had an Easter bent, including Adam Wallace’s How to Catch the Easter Bunny, which sold nearly 45,000 copies, putting it in second place on the category list.
In children's nonfiction, the holidays/festivals/religion subcategory had the largest gain, with sales up 83%. The games/activities/hobbies segment had 53.5% gain. I Color Myself Different by Colin Kaepernick took the top spot in the category, selling almost 9,000 copies in its first week on sale.
Adult fiction sales increased 8.3% over 2021. Two new graphic novels published by Viz Media led the sales gain. Chainsaw Man, Volume 10 by Tatsuki Fujimoto was #1, selling nearly 44,000 copies, while Gege Akutami’s Jujutsu Kaisen, Volume 15 was in second place on the category list, selling over 30,000 copies. Emily St. John Mandel’s Sea of Tranquility sold more than 20,000 copies in its first week, landing it in seventh place on the category list.
Adult nonfiction sales fell 4.3% in the week. A year ago, Amanda Gorman’s The Hill We Climb sold over 42,000 copies in its second week on sale. Last week the #1 title was The Mothers and Daughters of the Bible Speak by Shannon Bream, which sold nearly 31,000 copies.
Sales of young adult fiction dropped 8.5% in the week. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson was the category’s top-seller, selling almost 10,000 copies.
With last week’s sales bump, year-to-date sales were off 7.7% compared to a 2021. Through the week ended April 2, 2022, sales had been down 8.9%.