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  • Writer's pictureDayna Fields

Top 2020 book launches in time for gift lists

Did you know 25% of all print book sales occur during the holidays?

Nearly 173 million books were sold in November and December 2019, according to The NPD Group.

"Book sales have been stronger than normal throughout the pandemic, so publishers have reason to be hopeful for good holiday tidings and a strong 2020 finish," said Kristen McLean, books industry analyst for NPD.

Hot books in 2020

The U.S. publishing industry has some long-anticipated books coming out just in time to make it onto holiday gift lists:

Sci-fi fans are eagerly anticipating "Ready Player Two" by Ernest Cline. Watch the 2019 movie, "Ready Player One" directed by Steven Spielberg to catch up on the plot.

On the children's side, Joanna Gaines' newest picture book "The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be."

Barack Obama's new memoir, "A Promised Land," is expected to be one of the biggest books of the year, according to NPD.

"It's always the hot new titles that drive the holiday shopping market," he said.

2019 top books

The top-selling book category during the 2019 holiday season was adult general fiction, selling 7.5 million units in the holiday season.

Top titles included "Where the Crawdads Sing," by Delia Owens, and "The Dutch House," by Ann Patchett.

Adult general non-fiction was the second biggest category, led by "Talking to Strangers," by Malcom Gladwell, and "The Four Agreements," by Don Miguel Ruiz.

For kids in 2019, sci-fi and fantasy fiction was the best-selling category thanks in large part to top-seller "Dog Man: Fetch-22," by Dav Pilkey.

About NPD BookScan NPD BookScan is the gold standard in point-of-sale tracking for the publishing market, covering approximately 85% of all the print books sold in the U.S. through direct reporting from all major retailers including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Target, independent bookstores, and many others. NPD BookScan is also the exclusive provider of ALR data for Barnes & Noble, Target, Walmart, and Sam's Club to U.S. publishers.

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