The summer is turning out to be a tough one for book sales.
Unit sales of print books once again fell last week, dropping 7.6% compared to the week ended August 13, 2022 at outlets that report to Circana BookScan. And once again, the once sturdy adult fiction segment had a down week compared to a year ago. And also once again, the reason for the decline in adult fiction is not hard to find—the lack of titles that can match the sales velocity that books by Colleen Hoover and other BookTok-fueled authors achieved last year.
A year ago, Hoover had seven titles among the top 10 bestsellers on the adult fiction list that sold a total of over 330,000 copies, led by It Ends with Us, which sold nearly 90,000 copies. Last week, Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros, which has enjoyed support from BookTokers, stayed number one, selling more than 40,000 copies. The three Hoover titles that made the top 10 bestseller list sold a total of about 61,000 copies. The strongest debut was Danielle Steel’s Happiness, which sold almost 21,000 copies, putting it in fourth place on the category list.
The adult nonfiction segment had the best performance, but sales still fell 5.9%. Atomic Habits by James Clear returned to the category’s top spot, selling nearly 21,000 copies. American Playbook by Clay Travis had the best debut, selling almost 16,000 copies, good enough for third place on the category list.
The children’s segments had another difficult week. Sales in the largest of those categories, juvenile fiction, fell 7.6%. The most recent Dog Man title by Dav Pilkey, Twenty Thousand Fleas Under the Sea, was number one, selling more than 14,000 copies. The bestselling new release across all four children’s categories was a sound book set, Disney Growing Up Stories, published by Pi Kids, which sold about 6,500 copies.