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06.09.11 | Philip Stone
David Nicholls' One Day (Hodder) remains comfortably the bestselling book in the UK. The novel, which currently tops the Amazon, Apple and Waterstone's e-book charts, sold 83,050 physical copies of its original and tie-in editions at UK booksellers last week—down 10% on the previous week, but almost four times as many copies as the next most popular purchase of the week, James Patterson and Liza Marklund's Postcard Killers (Arrow).
Almost 700 hardback books were officially released on Thursday last week (1st September), approximately eight times the daily average, but spending at UK booksellers rose by just 0.7% (£188,500) week-on-week. Spending was down a disappointing 13.2% (£4.1m) on a strong comparative week last year in which former prime minister Tony Blair's memoir, A Journey (Hutchinson), hit bookshop shelves and sold 90,000 copies in three days—a record opening-week sale for a memoir.
Derek Landy's sixth Skulduggery Pleasant instalment, Death Bringer (HarperCollins), was the bestseller of the hardback books released on 1st September, taking top spot in this week's Children's Fiction chart and ninth position in the Official UK Top 50. However, it was the only hardback publication to sell more than 10,000 copies last week, in comparison to seven in the same week last year.
Although 1st September may not be 2011's "Super Thursday"—the day in which the biggest releases of the year hit the shelves (29th September this year)—a number of books which hit the shelves last week will almost certainly find their way onto Christmas wish lists, including Kathy Reichs' latest Tempe Brennan thriller, Flash and Bones (Heinemann)—the new number one in Original Fiction.
Books by former footballer Gary Neville, TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and actress Sue Johnston chart high up in this week's Hardback non-fiction chart, while Julia Donaldson's The Highway Rat (Alison Green) is the new number one in this week's week's Children's Pre-school and Picture Books chart.
All eight members of the latest W H Smith-exclusive Richard and Judy book club ("Autumn Reads") earn bestseller status this week—four charting in the Top 20 Mass-market Fiction chart and the other four earning places in the Fiction Heatseekers list. Peter May, the winner of the three French literary awards, was the bestseller of the bunch—his The Black House (Quercus) scoring sales of 8,822 copies.
However, overall sales of paperback novels continue to struggle as e-books continue to steal printed novel sales. Just nine mass-market novels sold more than 10,000 copies last week, in comparison to 23 in the same week last year.