The industry endured another soft week, with unit sales of print books at outlets that report to NPD BookScan 3% lower in the week ended Sept. 10, 2017, than in the similar week in 2016. Sales were down in three of the four major publishing segments and flat in the fourth. In adult fiction, despite new releases from four major genre writers heading the category’s bestseller list—Secrets in Death by J.D. Robb, Enemy of the State by Kyle Mills, A Legacy of Spies by John le Carré, and Turbo Twenty-Three by Janet Evanovich—sales of print books were down 4% from the similar week in 2016, when The Girl on the Train occupied three of the top six spots. Print units were also 4% lower than last year in juvenile fiction, when J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child continued its reign. Last week’s biggest debut in the category, Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas, sold less than one-fifth of what Rowling did in the comparable week in 2016: 16,000 print units versus 93,000. In adult nonfiction, with units sales down 2%, the paperback reprint of Being Mortal by Atul Gawande was the segment’s strongest debut, at #6. By contrast, in the similar week in 2016, the category’s three top-selling books were new: two editions of Glennon Doyle Melton’s Love Warrior (conventional and Oprah’s Book Club), plus the annual update of the The Complete Cook’s Country TV Show Cookbook. Together, the three books sold 53,000 print units, compared with last week’s top three, whose unit sales totaled 40,000. Juvenile nonfiction remained flat with the similar week in 2016. There were no new titles high on the list, but books in Workman’s Big Fat Notebook series of middle school study guides, which pubbed in 2016, saw better print unit sales in their second school year on sale, with two titles cracking the juvenile nonfiction top 10.
Unit Sales of Print Books by Channel
Unit Sales of Print Books by Category
(in thousands)Sept.11, 2016 Sept. 10, 2017 Chge Week Chge YTD Adult Nonfiction 5,230 5,146 -2% 2% Adult Fiction 2,710 2,591 -4% -0.5% Juvenile Nonfiction 888 885 0% 6% Juvenile Fiction 3,013 2,905 -4% 2%
Unit Sales of Print Books by Format
(in thousands)Sept.11, 2016 Sept. 10, 2017 Chge Week Chge YTD Hardcover 3,003 2,843 -5% 3% Trade Paperback 7,138 7,035 -1% 1% Mass Market Paperback 1,157 1,046 -10% -8% Board Books 574 590 3% 12% Audio 69 55 -20% -11%