Print book sales fell 5.6% in January

Print book unit sales fell 1.6% last week compared to the week ended January 30, 2021, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. The sales pattern was familiar, with sales in the adult fiction and young adult categories up and sales in the adult non-fiction and youth fiction and non-fiction segments down.

Through January, total printing unit sales fell 5.6% from 2021. The drop was expected as the first part of 2021 saw strong sales, with people still stuck in the event of pandemic and the arrival of spending-stimulating child tax credit checks.

The 7% drop in adult non-fiction sales came despite a number of new books doing very well in their first week on sale. Red Handed: How America’s Elites Get Rich Helping China Win by Peter Schweizer topped the category’s bestseller list, selling over 89,000 copies. A new title in Spanish was No. 3 on the category list. Emma Y Las Otras Del Narco (Emma and Other Narco Women) by Anabel Hernandez sold nearly 26,000 copies in its first week. I’ll be there (but I’ll be wearing sweatpants) by Amy Weatherly was in fourth place, selling over 22,000 copies. Last year around this time, the memoirs of Cicely Tyson, Just as I am was #1 in the category, selling around 45,000 copies.

Sales of adult fiction units were up 14.9% from 2021, and Colleen Hoover had an even better than usual week on the category’s bestseller list. Hoover had the three best-selling titles on the adult list (all from different publishers) and had five of the top 10 sellers. His latest book, Reminders of him, sold approximately 33,000 copies, and the five titles sold approximately 112,000 copies. The best-selling new version was that of Christine Feehan wild road, which sold nearly 14,000 copies.

Sales of children’s fiction fell 1.6% last week. Little Blue Truck’s Valentine’s Day by Alice Schertle was again No. 1 in the category, selling just over 32,000 copies. Sales of young adult fiction rose 7.2%, with no new titles having a significant impact. by Scott Cawthon The fourth closet was #1, selling just under 10,000 copies.