Book sales pass the £1bn mark

Printed book sales in 2011 have passed the £1bn mark two weeks later than in 2010 with David Nicholls' One Day the biggest selling book of the year to date.

In total, £29.5m was spent at UK booksellers in the week ending 24th September, bringing the 2011 total to £1.008bn. However, the figure is down 5.3%, or £53m on 2010, when book sales passed the £1bn mark on 11th September.

The decline in printed book sales appears largely due to the transfer of sales from print to digital, with recent reports from many UK publishers suggesting digital book sales now account for around 9-10% of their overall book sales compared to 4-5% last year.

According to Nielsen BookScan top 5,000 bestseller list data for the 38 weeks to 24th September period, sales of novels have been hit the most by the migration to digital. With fiction titles dominating the Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks and Waterstones.com e-book charts, spending on novels in 2011 is down approximately 10% year-on-year.

In comparison, spending on non-fiction books is slightly ahead of last year, while children's book sales are down marginally due principally to a decline in the popularity of dark romance novels. Sales in the summer have been particularly poor, falling 8%
year-on-year in July, 9.3% in August and by more than 10% in September.

In a difficult year for traditional booksellers, David Nicholls' One Day (Hodder) sold 756,000 copies across all editions. Jamie Oliver's Jamie's 30-minute Meals (Michael Joseph) was the biggest seller in revenue terms, its 453,000 sales converting to £6.2m at the tills, which is around £2m more than the amount spent on One Day.

2011's bestselling books

1) David Nicholls' One Day (Hodder) 756,000
2) Jamie Oliver's Jamie's 30-minute Meals (Michael Joseph) 453,000
3) Emma Donoghue's Room (Pan) 387,000
4) Dawn French's A Tiny Bit Marvellous (Penguin) 349,000
5) John Grisham's The Confession (Arrow) 318,000
6) Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Quercus) 286,000
7) Stieg Larsson's The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest (Quercus) 274,000
8) Marian Keyes' The Brightest Star in the Sky (Penguin) 271,000
9) Kate McCann's Madeleine (Bantam Press) 266,000
10) Stieg Larsson's The Girl Who Played with Fire (Quercus) 260,000