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Jacko sales drop off as more contenders enter race
29.07.09 | Philip Stone
It was a mixed week for publishers in the battle now commonly known as the "Wacko Races". Despite selling at an average discount of just over 50% last week (£4.49), J Randy Taraborrelli's Michael Jackson: The Magic and the Madness (Pan) suffered a 35% sales decline week-on-week to 13,946 copies sold.
Although its seven-day sale was the highest of any Michael Jackson biography or tribute title last week, the sharp fall in sales has resulted in the book falling from the summit of the Paperback Non-fiction Top 20 after just one week. Both Dawn French's Dear Fatty (Arrow) and Julie Walters' That's Another Story (Phoenix) recorded stronger sales‚ the latter despite being on sale for just three days.
Also in paperback, Ian Halperin's Unmasked: The Final Years of Michael Jackson (Simon & Schuster) sold 2,013 copies through Nielsen BookScan's Total Consumer Market last week in its first full week in bookshops—up from 698 copies the previous week. However, it was outsold by Emily Herbert's Michael Jackson: King of Pop 1958-2009 (John Blake), which entered the battle with a début sale of 2,715 copies. It misses out on a place in the Paperback Non-fiction Top 20 by just 57 copies.
Sharing the same title, Trinity Mirror Sport Media's £4.99 picture tribute sold 837 copies during the seven days to 25th July, down 51% on the previous week, while Jackson Unveiled: The Complete Story of the King of Pop, a joint venture between Haynes and the Daily Mirror, began to arrive in some UK book retailers late last week and recorded a sale of 159 copies. Adrian Grant's Making HIStory (Omnibus), a look at Jackson's 1996/1997 world tour, sold 211 copies.
In the hardback battle, despite both James Aldis' Michael Jackson: Legend, Hero, Icon (HarperCollins) and Michael Heatley's Michael Jackson: Life of a Legend (Headline) enjoying uplifts in their first full week on bookshop shelves, both were beaten to top spot in the Hardback Non-fiction Top 20 by Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey (BBC).
Although Aldis' tribute has a recommended retail price £5 lower than Heatley's £17.99, there was just 95 pence difference in their average selling prices through the TCM last week—the former selling 4,975 copies at an a.s.p. of £8.95, and the latter selling 4,661 copies at an a.s.p. of £9.90.