First published on www.publishersweekly.com
Unit sales of print books rose 1% in the week ended Nov. 16, 2014, compared to the similar week last year, at outlets that report to Nielsen BookScan. The gain follows a 2% decline in the previous week, which was the first time this fall that unit sales fell year over year. Sales through the retail & club channel drove the gain, offsetting a dip in sales via the mass merchandisers channel. The juvenile nonfiction segment had the strongest performance in week 46, with units up 14% over the week ended Nov. 17, 2013. Holiday favorite Elf on the Shelf took over the top spot in the category, dislodging various Minecraft titles that have been #1 on the juvenile nonfiction list for much of the fall. The $24.95 edition of Elf sold over 20,000 copies in the week, while a $29.95 edition sold almost 12,000 copies. The Long Haul, the newest in Jeff Kinney’s Wimpy Kid series, had a strong second week, selling over 220,000 copies and driving the juvenile fiction category to a 3% gain in the week. George W. Bush’s 41: A Portrait of My Father helped boost sales in the adult nonfiction category by 3% in week 46, selling more than 82,000 copies in its debut week. Sales in adult fiction fell a relatively modest 3%, as Stephen King’s latest, Revival, sold more than 89,000 copies in its first week on sale, almost double the total of second-place Gray Mountain, by John Grisham.