Unit sales of print books rose 6.8% last week over the week ended May 30 at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. The increase was led by big sales jumps for a number of books tied to race and social justice movements sparked by the killing of George Floyd, as well as good performances by several new books.
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo and published by Hachette Book Group’s Seal Press saw its print sales jump to almost 36,000 copies last week from under 4,000 in the prior week. Race was the second bestselling print book last week at outlets that report to BookScan. In third place on the bestseller list was Beacon Press’ White Fragility by Robin Diangelo, which sold more than 30,000 copies last week. The book has been a solid backlist performer—since it was published in June 2018, it has sold more than 379,000 print copies, including 109,000 copies so far this year.
Some other social justice–related books that had solid sales gains last week include The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein (Norton), for which sales rose to about 20,500 copies from 2,000 copies in the previous week; Just Mercy (One World) by Bryan Stevenson, which had a sales jump to almost 14,000 copies from 5,200 copies in the previous week; and The New Jim Crow (New Press) by Michele Alexander, for which sales topped 13,500 copies, compared to 4,200 copies in the prior week.
The two new titles that cracked BookScan’s top 10 were The World Needs More Purple People by Kristen Bell (Random House Books for Young Readers), with 24,000 copies sold and The Lies that Bind by Emily Giffin (Ballantine), which sold 22,000 copies. On the opposite end of the ideological spectrum, among other new releases that had a good week was The United States of Socialism (All Points Books/St. Martin’s) by Dinesh D’Souza, which sold more than 13,000 copies, putting it in 26th place on the overall BookScan list.