According to data released by NPD Bookscan, the book business’s strong performance from 2020 has continued into 2021.
Unit sales jumped 18.5% in the first six months over the comparable period in 2020, reports Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer. Notably, backlist sales for titles published more than a year ago enjoyed the strongest gains, rising 21.4%. Frontlist sales were solid, too, rising 12.4%.
“The news was good across the board with all major publishing categories posting double-digit sales increases with only juvenile nonfiction as the exception,” he tells CCC.
“The strength of the graphic novel format is especially noteworthy,” says Albanese. “Graphic novels have been a growing segment for some time, but they are clearly hitting their stride now.”
Graphic novels made up almost 20% of adult fiction unit sales in the first half of 2021, compared to 9.3% last year. Unit sales soared 178.5% in the first six month of this year. With 16.2 million copies sold, graphic novels are now the second-largest adult fiction subcategory.