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R&J ignite kids' sales
01.11.07 | Anna Richardson
The "Richard & Judy's Best Kids Books Ever" show led to a significant boost in children's book sales last week, with all winning titles posting their best ever week through Nielsen BookScan.
The one-hour programme was broadcast on 25th October as part of Channel 4's literacy season, and 19 shortlisted titles were whittled down to eight winning titles, which were all featured and reviewed on the show.
The week ending 27th October saw sales of the paperback of Mark Walden's H.I.V.E. (Bloomsbury)—a winner in the 7+ category—increase nearly seven-fold from 144 to just under 1,000 copies. Sales of The World According to Humphrey by Betty G Birney (Faber) increased five times to more than 1,500, and so did those of Girl, Missing by Sophie McKenzie (Simon & Schuster), to more than 1,200. Poppy and Max and the Fashion Show by Sally Grindley and Lindsey Gardiner (Orchard) enjoyed a six-fold rise. Aliens Love Underpants by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort (Simon & Schuster), which was one of the winning titles in the 5+ category, was particularly well received by the programme's young readers, and its weekly sales rose to more than 3,500.
Ingrid Selberg, director of children's publishing at Simon & Schuster, said that that figure made Aliens the publisher's "biggest selling [children's] title ever", with reprints ordered to ensure availability. She added: "This title was selling well before 'Richard & Judy', but since then it's been romping away. We hope [the programme] is not just a one-off."
Retail promotions included W H Smith offering all shortlisted titles and winners in a wider three-for-two offer from 26th October, and Borders is displaying the books front-of-store as well as in the children's departments.
Other winners were Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy (Harper-Collins), Spy Dog by Andy Cope (Puffin) and Robert Muchamore's The Recruit (Hodder).