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TWiC #46: Week Ending 13th November

In The Bookseller's regular news meeting on a Monday morning, where we argue incessantly about what stories to cover in what depth and on what page they'll end up on, I made a bold prediction: Jamie Oliver's 30-minute Meals would be the bestselling book of the week (again) but its sales would fall week-on-week.

And fall they did. By a "massive" (read: "miniscule") five per-cent. Which means that his cookbook outsold Guinness World Records by only two copies to one last week. It sold 85,600 copies, taking £1.1m through the tills - an important figure for it meant that the pukka fellar passed the £100m mark. He has became only the second author since sales stats records began in 1998 to achieve the feat (the first was J K Rowling, well duh). It's very,very, impressive . So impressive I'll say it again: over £100m has been spent at UK booksellers on his cookbooks to date.

Also impressive, though not quite as impressive, was Jeff Kinney's sale last week. His latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid novel, The Ugly Truth, sold 30,312 copies in four days - breaking the US author's weekly sale personal best (in the UK) by around 22,000 copies.

Other noteworthy stats from last week include "81%", "36%" and "63%" - the week-on-week boosts enjoyed by three Karl Pilkington books thanks to the success of his "An Idiot Abroad" Sky1 series, and "107%" and "117%" - the week-on-week boosts enjoyed by Pierre Dukan's two Dukan Diet titles (The Dukan Diet and The Dukan Diet Recipe Book). Why did they enjoy a boost? Because the Daily Mail did a story recently which revealed the fact that Prince William's future mother-in-law, Carole Middleton, had lost four pounds in four days doing it.

But I can't decide whether the next stat is "impressive" or not. The statistic is: "4,300" and it belongs to George W Bush as its the opening week sale of his memoir, Decision Points, in the UK (it sold 430,000-odd in its first week in the US). Now, I have to be honest and say it's more than I thought it would sell in its opening week and, in real terms, it was one of the top 50 bestselling hardbacks (for an adult audience) of the week, coming in ahead of the likes of Howard Jacobson's Man Booker winner, The Finkler Question, and the memoirs of Simon Pegg, Derren Brown and Nelson Mandela.

However, it was outsold by Alan Titchmarsh's latest memoir, Posy Symonds' JLS Annual and Justin Bieber's First Step 2 Forever (which outsold it by two copies to one). Still, Darren "sick note" Andserson would kill for that kinda sale. His memoir, Take Note!, sold, well, let's just say that whatever odds PaddyPower or William Hill give you on the ex-Spurs legend being the Christmas number one, don't do it...

Unless Jesus returns and tells all Christians they'll be tested on the history of Tottenham Hotspur at the Pearly Gates.

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Good stuff, as always, Philip. I shall shed tears for that nice Mr Bush as he tries to make ends meet with the proceeds from his memoir. But could you tell me (and I am a mere aspiring novelist) how many copies of a first novel I would have to sell in the UK before my publisher thought, hmmm, not bad, not bad, I think we'll give this rascal another shot? How many copies does a "typical," non-best-selling, novel sell these days, and over what period of time?

Good stuff, as always, Philip. I shall shed tears for that nice Mr Bush as he tries to make ends meet with the proceeds from his memoir. But could you tell me (and I am a mere aspiring novelist) how many copies of a first novel I would have to sell in the UK before my publisher thought, hmmm, not bad, not bad, I think we'll give this rascal another shot? How many copies does a "typical," non-best-selling, novel sell these days, and over what period of time?