In a nonelection year that saw politics leap even more to the forefront of public discourse than the year prior, 2017’s biggest books were, for the most part, nonpolitical. It was a year heavy on backlist bestsellers, with the #1 print bestseller slots at both NPD BookScan and Amazon, as well as in Amazon’s Kindle e-books rankings, going to backlist titles.
In print, R.J. Palacio’s 2012 middle grade novel Wonder topped both BookScan’s and Amazon’s lists, buoyed by the film adaptation released last November. Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey was second on both print lists, and Jeff Kinney’s latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid novel, The Getaway, was #3 on NPD’s list and #5 on Amazon. Among the Amazon bestsellers that didn’t hit the BookScan list were Giraffes Can’t Dance, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, The Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook, Hillbilly Elegy, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, First 100 Words, and The Whole30.
The big news in Kindle e-book bestsellers top 10 list was that all but three are from Amazon publishing imprints. Margaret Atwood’s backlist title turned runaway bestseller The Handmaid’s Tale was the year’s #1 Kindle e-book, and a Pottermore title (the first Harry Potter novel) and a Kindle Direct Publishing title were in third and 10th place, respectively. The rest of the list is populated by books published by Amazon imprints, continuing a trend that began in 2016. Amazon’s e-books bestseller lists include sales made through Kindle Unlimited, Amazon First Reads, and Prime Reading.
Top 10 Kindle Bestsellers, 2017Rank Title Author Imprint 1 The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood HMH 2 Beneath a Scarlet Sky Mark Sullivan Lake Union 3 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone J.K. Rowling Pottermore 4 Stillhouse Lake Rachel Caine Thomas Mercer 5 Everything We Keep Kerry Lonsdale Lake Union 6 A Criminal Defense William L. Meyers Jr. Thomas Mercer 7 In Farleigh Field Rhys Bowen Lake Union 8 When I’m Gone Emily Bleeker Lake Union 9 Silent Child Sarah A. Denzil Self-published 10 I Am Watching You Teresa Driscoll Thomas Mercer
Top 10 Print Bestsellers, 2017Rank Title Author Imprint 1 Wonder R. J. Palacio Knopf Young Readers 2 Milk and Honey Rupi Kaur Andrews McMeel 3 Giraffes Can’t Dance Giles Andreae Cartwheel 4 The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck Mark Manson HarperOne 5 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway Jeff Kinney Abrams 6 The Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook Laurel Randolph Rockbridge 7 Hillbilly Elegy J. D. Vance Harper 8 Astrophysics for People in a Hurry Neil DeGrasse Tyson Norton 9 First 100 Words Roger Priddy Priddy Books 10 The Whole30: The 20-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig HMH
Top 10 Print Bestsellers, 2017Rank Title Author Imprint Total Units 1 Wonder R. J. Palacio Knopf Young Readers 1,118,925 2 Milk and Honey Rupi Kaur Andrews McMeel 1,032,494 3 The Getaway Jeff Kinney Amulet Books 992,416 4 Origin Dan Brown Doubleday 746,813 5 You are a Badass Jen Sincero Running Press 648,015 6 A Man Called Ove Fredrik Backman Atria 634,137 7 Oh, The Places You’ll Go! Dr. Seuss Random House 608,985 8 The Woman in Cabin 10 Ruth Ware Gallery 597,445 9 The Rooster Bar John Grisham Doubleday 594,557 10 Camino Island John Grisham Doubleday 573,458