Led by a number of hot-selling new releases, unit sales of print books rose 3.2% last week over the week ended September 26, 2020 at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. The increase stopped a four-week skid of sales declines.
The top-selling title last week was Peril, by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, which sold more than 192,000 copies in its first week on sale. A year ago, Woodward’s second book on the Trump administration, Rage, sold approximately 355,000 copies in its first week. Still, the publication of Peril blunted the steady declines the adult nonfiction category has experienced since the beginning of summer with sales falling only 0.8% from the comparable week a year ago. Other new nonfiction releases that sold well last week were Vanderbilt by Anderson Cooper, which sold over 44,000 copies, and Michael Todd’s Crazy Faith, which sold more than 20,000 copies .
Amanda Gorman’s Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem sold nearly 158,000 copies in its first week, helping to lift unit sales in the juvenile fiction segment 5.5% over last year.
Adult fiction continued to be a star category this year with sales up 22.1% last week, Liana Moriarty’s Apples Never Fall remained #1, selling nearly 28,000 copies followed by two new titles, The Jailhouse Lawyer by James Patterson and Nancy Allen, which sold over 22,000 copies, and Bewilderment by Richard Powers, which sold more than 20,000 copies.
Young adult print unit sales rose 20.6% last week. Joining the usual backlist titles that have been popular for months, a new title, Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao, landed in the fourth spot on the category bestseller list, selling over 7,000 copies.
The juvenile nonfiction segment had another week of double-digit declines, with sales down 11.1%.