Sales of the six novels in contention for the 2011 Man Booker Prize have totalled 37,500 copies across all print editions since the shortlist was announced, making it the most popular Booker shortlist since records began.
Sales of the novels are up 127% year-on-year and up 105% on the previous record (2009), and have been helped by the fact that, unusually, two of this year's six nominated novels (A D Miller's Snowdrops and Carol Birch's Jamrach's Menagerie) are already available to buy in a mass-market format.
In addition, with the most expensive shortlisted titles costing just £12.99, all six novels can currently be purchased at UK booksellers for a total of £65.94—down 36% (or £37) on 2010's selections.
Snowdrops (Atlantic) is currently the bestselling book on the shortlist, scoring sales of 6,084 copies last week—up 6% week-on-week. Helped by the fact it is also a member of Richard and Judy's W H Smith-exclusive autumn book club, Jamrach's Menagerie (Canongate) proved the second most popular title in volume sales terms, selling 3,949 copies across all print editions last week. Julian Barnes' The Sense of an Ending was the third most popular purchase, with sales of 2,870 copies.
Esi Edugyan's Half Blood Blues (Serpent's Tail) was the least most popular title at UK booksellers last week, despite a 10% week-on-week boost. The book sold 1,484 copies in the seven days to 17th September, some 373 copies fewer than Patrick De Witt's The Sisters Brothers (Granta), and 649 sales behind Stephen Kelman's Pigeon English (Bloomsbury).
Sales since shortlist announcement:
1) Snowdrops 11,800
2) Jamrach's Menagerie 9,000
3) The Sense of an Ending 6,400
4) Pigeon English 3,900
5) The Sisters Brothers 3,500
6) Half Blood Blues 2,800