Sales of print books in the US fell by 1.3% in 2019 compared to the previous year, with 689.5 million sold, according to NPD BookScan figures.
The fall in sales, reported by Publishers Weekly, was put down to the one-off publishing success of Michelle Obama’s Becoming (Crown), which shifted around 1.2 million copies in 2018. Trump-bashing titles such as Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury (Henry Holt) were also absent from the 2019 picture.
According to the website, sales in the history/law/politics category fell by 9.9% in 2019 while, the biography/autobiography/memoir category saw a similar drop of 9.4%.
An 11.4% increase in self-help was aided by the success of Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis (HarperCollins) while general non-fiction also saw an 8.8% surge.
However, adult fiction was down by 2.9% despite the sales of runaway bestseller Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (GP Putnam).
Juvenile fiction slipped by 0.5% while YA fiction took an 8.1% hit. However, the website reported good news for graphic novels and horror, where sales were up by 16.1% and 16.6.% respectively.