Unit Sales of Print Books Fell 6.9% in Early May


Since the end of the Easter shopping season, unit sales of print books have followed a fairly regular weekly path, dropping by roughly 6% compared to a year ago. That was the result again in the week ended May 14, 2022, when sales fell 6.9% from the comparable week in 2021, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. Adult fiction was the only category to post an increase, with units up 0.9%, despite no strong performance by any new release. Book Lovers by Emily Henry remained # 1 on the category list, selling more than 36,000 copies. The bestselling new title was Tsugumi Ohba’s Death Note Short Storieswhich sold just over 16,000 copies, putting it in eighth place on the category list, followed by Jennifer Weiner’s new book, The Summer Place, which sold just under 16,000 copies. Sales of adult nonfiction fell by 10%. Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard had the # 1 book in the category in the most recent week and a year ago. Killing the Killers was tops in 2022, selling nearly 23,000 copies, while Killing the Mob was # 1 in the week ended May 15, 2021, selling more than 35,000 copies. The top debut was A Sacred Oath by Mark Esper, which sold nearly 12,000 copies. Juvenile fiction sales fell 6.8% compared to 2021. Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss was the clear # 1 in the category, selling more than 44,000 copies, and not one new book cracked the top 50 juvenile fiction bestsellers. The juvenile nonfiction category had no new books among its top 50 sellers either, and unit sales dropped 10.7% compared to 2021.


A version of this article appeared in the 05/23/2022 issue of Publishers Weekly under the headline: The Weekly Scorecard

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