The book business looks ready to mark a second consecutive year of unit growth in print books. Unit sales of print books were up 2.8% through the week ended December 20, 2015 compared to the same period in 2014 at outlets that report to Nielsen BookScan with just under 626 million unit sold. The gain in 2015 follows a 2.4% increase in unit sales in 2014.
For the most recent week, unit sales rose 2.1% over the similar week last year, with just under 31 million units sold. The most popular book this holiday season will almost certainly be Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School, which sold more than 187,000 copies last week at outlets that report to BookScan, and retained its place as the top-selling book of the week. The only other title that sold more than 100,000 copies last week was Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids by Rob Elliott, which sold more than 107,000 copies. Another Elliott book, Knock-Knock Jokes for Kids, sold over 54,000 copies last week, making it the 12th overall seller for the week ended December 20.
Adult coloring books were well represented among the week’s bestsellers led by Johanna Basford whose three books—Lost Ocean, Secret Garden, and Enchanted Forest—combined to sell more than 240,000 copies. Two other books that are having a strong holiday season are Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Reagan, which sold about 91,000 copies last week, and The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime by Ree Drummond, which sold nearly 77,000 copies.