Unit sales of print books had one of their worst weeks so far in 2020 in late February. Units fell 4% in the week ended Feb. 29, 2020, compared to the week ended Mar. 2, 2019, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. The adult fiction and juvenile fiction categories both posted 8.6% sales declines. In adult fiction, Blindside by James Patterson and James O. Born was #1 on the category chart in the most recent week, selling more than 29,000 copies, followed by Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, which sold more than 16,000 copies. A year ago, Crawdads was #1, selling about 27,000 copies, followed by The Chef by Patterson and Max DiLallo, which sold about 18,000 copies. Since the top sellers in the category posted comparable numbers in 2020 and 2019, the 8.6% decline in the category was evidence of weakness among midlist titles. In juvenile fiction, the sales drop was due to lower sales of Dr. Seuss titles. In the week ended Mar. 2, 2019, nine of the top 10 bestselling titles were Seuss books, and they combined to sell about 215,000 copies. In the most recent week, while eight of the top 10 bestsellers were by Seuss, they combined to sell only about 124,000 copies. Adult nonfiction sales were up 2.8% over 2019. Four of the top five bestsellers in the category were new releases, led by Erik Larson’s The Splendid and the Vile, which sold more than 49,000 print copies in the week. Sales of juvenile nonfiction had a big jump in the week, increasing 39%. There’s No Place Like Space by Tish Rabe was #1 on the category list, selling more than 13,000 copies.
Volume 267 Issue 10 03/09/2020