Unit sales of print books got off to tough start in 2022, falling 13.9% last week compared to the first week in 2021 at outlets that report to NPD BookScan.
The only two categories that had increases in the week ended January 8, 2022, were adult fiction, up 4.5%, and young adult fiction, which had a 4.2% sales increase. Sales had a fast start last year, jumping 23% over the first week of 2020. Last week’s sales of 14.7 million units were 6.2% higher than the 13.8 million units sold in the first full week of 2020.
The increase in adult fiction sales last week was led by two authors who are TikTok favorites. Colleen Hoover had the first, third, and fifth bestselling books in the category last week, led by It Ends with Us, which sold more than 41,000 copies. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid was #2 on the list, selling over 25,000 copies. The top-selling new release was Danielle Steel’s Invisible, which sold almost 19,000 copies.
The top-selling new book in young adult fiction was Heartstopper: Volume 4 by Alice Oseman, which sold more than 10,000 copies. Number 1 in the category was another TikTok favorite, Holly Jackson’s A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, which sold just over 11,000 copies.
Unit sales fell 20.5% in both the adult nonfiction and juvenile nonfiction categories. The decline in adult nonfiction had more to do with softness throughout the category rather than weakness at the top of the bestseller list. Last week, Atomic Habits by James Clear was #1, selling about 48,000 copies, slightly higher than the 47,000 copies Barack Obama’s A Promised Land sold last year. The top-selling new book in the category was Unthinkable by Jamie Raskin, which sold nearly 19,000 copies. The bestselling new book a year ago was Keep Sharp by Sanjay Gupta, which sold more than 41,000 copies.
Juvenile nonfiction sales fell despite a new #1 title. My Little Golden Book about Betty White by Deborah Hopkinson sold 33,878 copies at outlets that report to BookScan, up from 1,051 copies in the prior week. White died on December 31 at age 99.