Post-Easter US Print Sales Up 5 Percent in Late April

In News by Porter Anderson

In the week ending April 22, Circana saw adult nonfiction posting the largest gains in the United States print book market.

The books-to-film effect on bestseller charts: A 20th Television/Hello Sunshine production still from the Apple TV+ series from author/showrunner Laura Dave, ‘The Last Thing He Told Me.’ The book was published March 21, the series opened April 14, the title went to No 1 on Circana’s tracking of bestsellers. Image: 20th Television/Hello Sunshine

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Frontlist Nonfiction led the Adult Super-Category’s Strength
Formerly known as NPD, the Circana report on print sales in the United States, released Monday (May 1), indicates that in the week ending April 22, the world’s largest publishing market saw a 5-percent gain in unit volume over that of the previous week

Circana Books’ executive director and industry analyst for entertainment Kristen McLean points out that the pattern across the recent Easter holiday has been a typical one on the American market, in which the two weeks following Easter see a sales drop followed by a bounce-back.

“Manufactured Sales Retail Price [MSRP] dollars were up 6 percent,” McLean says, “which indicates that there was a nice mix of higher-priced items going out the door. More than half of the Top 10 bestsellers this week were front list hardcovers, which certainly helped.”

Year-to-date unit volume remained unchanged last week, McLean says, coming in down 2 percent on a weekly volume of 12.3 million units.

“All super-categories grew this week. Adult nonfiction posted the highest absolute gains.

“Frontlist adult nonfiction sales,” she says, “contributed to more than half the weekly gains in the category—a positive sign that the super-category may be heading in the right direction just in time for Mother’s Day.”

In the United States, Mother’s Day this year is observed on May 14.

US print book sales through week ending April 22, 2023. Image Source: Circana BookScan.

In Circana’s rendering of the Top 10 bestsellers for the United States’ market’s week ending April 22, a books-t0-film effect makes Laura Dave’s The Last Thing He Told Me (Simon & Schuster) move to the No. 1 position.

The Apple TV+ series from author/showrunner Dave and screenwriter Josh Singer had its premiere on April 14 with a cast featuring Jennifer Garner, Angourie Rice, Aisha Tyler, Augusto Aguilera, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.

Frontlist titles, McLean points out, account for some 40 percent of the week’s list, and you’ll notice that the previous domination by Colleen Hoover books seems to be easing somewhat.

Image: Source: Circana BookScan through week ending April 22, 2023. UA print sales only.

More from Publishing Perspectives on industry statistics is here, and more on the NPD Group’s work is here—this spring, an acquisition has changed the name to Circana. More on the work of Kristen McLean is here, and more on the United States book industry is here

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.