United States: Print Book Sales Dropped 8.3% Last Week

Unit sales of print books fell 8.3% last week compared to the week ended August 6, 2023 at outlets that report to Circana BookScan. Sales were down in all categories, including adult fiction where sales dropped 11.4%.

Adult fiction has been by far the best performing category in 2023, but it is now struggling to keep pace with last year’s sales figures. A year ago, six of Colleen Hoover’s books were in the category’s top 10 list, selling a total of about 350,000 copies led by the number one title, It Ends with Us, which sold about 114,000 copies. Last week, four Hoover titles were still in the top 10, selling about 85,000 copies.

The number one title was once again Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros, which sold nearly 43,000 copies. The best performing new release was Ann Patchett’s Tom Lake, which sold more than 38,000 copies, landing it in second place on the list.

Adult nonfiction had the best week, but sales in the category were still down 5.6%. American Prometheus by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin–the basis for the hit film Oppenheimer—returned to the category top spot, selling more than 27,000 copies. Like a River by Granger Smith was the top-selling new release, selling just over 18,000 copies.

Juvenile fiction sales fell 5.8%, despite a new number one title. Dawn of the Light Dragon, the 24th volume in the Dragon Masters series by Tracey West, sold over 13,000 copies to claim the top spot. Young fiction adult fiction sales also fell despite a new number one book. A new edition of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins was released August 1 just ahead of a new promotion for an upcoming film based on the book and sold more than 22,000 copies.

A version of this article appeared in the 08/14/2023 issue of Publishers Weekly under the headline: Print Sales Dip in Early August.

Article: by Jim Milliot: publishers-weekly.unit-sales-dropped

Photo: Publishers Weekly