Go Set a Watchman sold over 746,000 copies in its first week on sale at outlets that report to Nielsen BookScan, which tracks sales for about 80% of the print market.
The sales performance will easily make the Harper Lee novel the #1 title on PW’s bestseller list, topping Grey by E.L. James, which sold over 87,000 copies last week. The publishers for both Watchman and Grey reported that the books each sold a total of 1.1 million copies, across all formats, in their first week on sale. Watchman, however, performed better in the print format.
Grey, which was released in paperback original, sold over 350,000 print copies between its publication on June 18, a Thursday, through the end of BookScan’s reporting period on Sunday, June 21. (Watchman, released in hardcover, hit shelves on July 14, a Tuesday).
Strong sales in the South drove the impressive print showing for Watchman. The BookScan regions of the South Atlantic and South Central accounted for 18.5% and 17.1% of sales, respectively. The Pacific region accounted for 15.7% of sales.
Interest in Watchman has provided a lift to Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird since the publication of Watchman was announced in February and last week was no exception. Grand Central Publishing’s mass market paperback edition sold over 36,000 copies in the week, while two trade paperback editions from HarperCollins sold a total of about 62,000 copies at outlets that report to BookScan.