News

2011 Man Booker shortlist most popular ever

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

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It depends what you mean by "popular". Perhaps you mean it is the most "populist" ever.

I bet Macmillan are kicking themselves that they didn't enter Jeffrey Archer's latest. It would have been in with a good shout this year. Move over Hollinghurst, the Booker's no longer interested in all that 'writing'

Surely anything that gets people buying books is good news?

Maybe it is that type of attitude which is stopping the masses shopping at indy stores?

Get a grip, and SUPPORT things that get book selling.

Popular or populist - I'm all for it, theres far too much snobbery involved in the publishing industry. On our radio programme and podcast we aim to be accessible and intelligent and it would appear that this years list is coming around to our way of thinking. Good.

At the risk of feeding the troll... perhaps you should look up what 'popular' means.

One would think someone commenting on the Booker selection being, presumably, less intellectual than you think it should be (as implied by 'populist') would at least be familiar with the word 'popular'. But then again, maybe not.

Not really much of a story, be it popular or populist. The fact that paperbacks sell better than hardbacks isn't a surprise to most people in the booktrade.
Also what does 'least most popular' mean?

JohnnyB, I think if I were a troll, I would have noticed your comment before today and perhaps replied before now. This year's Booker is not popular amongst people who have followed the Booker for a number of years. You, though, have shown that you think "populist" means "less intellectual". Hm.

How come I can buy these books for around £36 in hardcopy but it will cost me £57 to get them for my Sony e-reader?

It depends what you mean by "popular". Perhaps you mean it is the most "populist" ever.

At the risk of feeding the troll... perhaps you should look up what 'popular' means.

One would think someone commenting on the Booker selection being, presumably, less intellectual than you think it should be (as implied by 'populist') would at least be familiar with the word 'popular'. But then again, maybe not.

I bet Macmillan are kicking themselves that they didn't enter Jeffrey Archer's latest. It would have been in with a good shout this year. Move over Hollinghurst, the Booker's no longer interested in all that 'writing'

Surely anything that gets people buying books is good news?

Maybe it is that type of attitude which is stopping the masses shopping at indy stores?

Get a grip, and SUPPORT things that get book selling.

Popular or populist - I'm all for it, theres far too much snobbery involved in the publishing industry. On our radio programme and podcast we aim to be accessible and intelligent and it would appear that this years list is coming around to our way of thinking. Good.

Not really much of a story, be it popular or populist. The fact that paperbacks sell better than hardbacks isn't a surprise to most people in the booktrade.
Also what does 'least most popular' mean?

JohnnyB, I think if I were a troll, I would have noticed your comment before today and perhaps replied before now. This year's Booker is not popular amongst people who have followed the Booker for a number of years. You, though, have shown that you think "populist" means "less intellectual". Hm.

How come I can buy these books for around £36 in hardcopy but it will cost me £57 to get them for my Sony e-reader?