First published on www.publishersweekly.com
Unit sales of print books fell 4% in the first week of 2014 compared to the week ended Jan. 6, 2013, at outlets that report to Nielsen BookScan. With Walmart now entering its second year of supplying sales to BookScan, it is possible to make annual comparisons for print books sold through the retail & club channel, as well as for the mass merchandise and other channel, where Walmart’s numbers appear. In the first week of 2014, the retail & club channel held up better than the mass merchandise channel, though units were off in both markets. The overall decline was due to softness in the adult categories—most notably adult fiction, where units were down 16% in week one of 2014 compared to the first week of 2013. Juvenile fiction units rose 8% in the week, as Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy sold about 106,000 copies.