First published on www.publishersweekly.com
The three weeks prior to Easter proved to be good ones for publishers and booksellers. After posting double-digit sales gains in weeks 14 and 15, unit sales jumped 34% for week 16, which ended Apr. 20, 2014 (Easter Sunday), compared to week 16 of 2013, at outlets that report to Nielsen BookScan.
The two juvenile categories led the gains, as unit sales in both the juvenile nonfiction and juvenile fiction segments doubled in week 16 of this year. The juvenile nonfiction category was led by two Minecraft titles, plus a healthy dose of Easter board books, led by The Story of Easter, which sold over 18,000 copies at outlets that report to BookScan. In week 16, board book sales jumped 203% over the week ended Apr. 21, 2013. In juvenile fiction, the 10 top-selling titles in the week were comprised of five Frozen books, three Divergent books, and two editions of The Fault in Our Stars. The mass merchandiser channel, which had a very sluggish winter, has benefited the most from the arrival of spring and Easter, with units more than doubling in week 16.