Print Sales Rebound in Early May

According to NPD Bookscan, print sales for the week ending May 2, 2020 were strong, and the closest to a ‘‘normal’’ week since widespread shelter-in-place orders went into effect across the US in March and April: 12.24 million books sold, up from 11.04 million the prior week. Sales for the same week in 2019 were only 11.58 million.

Adult sales in particular rebounded, selling 7.8 million books, over 6.26 million the week before. Children’s and YA titles, which have been selling well all along, declined slightly to 4.02 million from the previous week’s 4.39 million – but those are still solid May weekly sales, even by non-pandemic standards. The trend continued the following week ending May 9, up to 13.56 million copies, an increase from 12.24 million in 2019.

Adult books sold 8.71 million, and juvenile books 4.36 million. Unit sales were previously down by about 10% overall as compared to last year, with adult sales down around 24% from the year before and hardcovers hit the hardest.

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