Unit sales of print books fell 6.9% last week compared to the week ended May 8, 2021, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. Units fell in all major categories, including adult fiction, which is the only category to have an increase in sales through May 7, 2022.
There was no major blockbuster released that drove up sales a year ago. In fact, the #1 bestseller in the week ended May 8, 2021, was 21st Birthday by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro, which sold about 51,000 copies. The top seller last week was Book Lovers by Emily Henry, which sold over 67,000 copies. 22 Seconds by Patterson and Paetro came in second place last week, selling almost 46,000 copies. Bill O’Reilly also had new books released last week and at the same time a year ago, with this year’s Killing the Killers, written with Martin Dugard, selling more than 42,000 copes, down slightly from the 46,000 copies Killing the Mob sold last year in its first week on sale.
With Henry and Patterson running in first and second place on the adult fiction list last week, units still fell 2%. In adult nonfiction, unit sales dropped 10.2%. Finding Me, the memoir by Viola Davis, stayed #1, selling almost 44,000 copies. In addition to Killing the Killers, other new titles to hit high on the adult nonfiction bestseller list were Revealing Revelation by Amir Tsarfati, which sold over 40,000 copies, and This Will Not Pass by Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns, which sold about 28,000 copies.
Young adult sales declined 13.5%. Heartstopper, #1 by Alice Oseman remained #1, selling more than 15,000 copies, not too far below the 21,000 copies Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow Bone sold a year, which put it in first place on the category list. Both titles benefitted from shows streaming on Netflix based the books. Casey McQuiston’s I Kissed Shara Wheeler sold over 12,000 copies in its first week on sale, the top-selling new release in the YA category.