Weekly E-Ranking: Pullman Lights up the digital chart

Weekly E-Ranking: Pullman Lights up the digital chart

Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, collated into a single e-book, has subtly knifed Lee Child in the back to claim the Weekly E-Book Ranking number one. It is Pullman’s fourth week in the weekly e-book chart top spot—though he remains the only children’s author ever to hit the number one—following success with La Belle Sauvage in 2017 and The Secret Commonwealth in October this year.

His Dark Materials follows in the footsteps of fellow books-turned-blockbuster-television-adaptations, including George R R Martin’s A Game of Thrones, which wore the e-book crown in the week that the eight-series HBO epic came to an end, and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, which seized control of the e-book top spot for seven weeks across summer 2017, when its first series was broadcast on Channel 4. The previous week’s chart, which coincided with the premiere of "His Dark Materials" on BBC One, saw four Pullman titles—the His Dark Materials trilogy, Northern Lights solo, and the two Book of Dust series titles—chart in the e-book top 20. For this chart, covering the week after the second episode was broadcast, Pullman’s sales concentrated to push His Dark Materials up six places into the top spot.

The sales boost as a result of the television adaptation is a lot more marked in "e" than in "p", with The Secret Commonwealth still Pullman’s bestseller in print in the same week covered by this chart. In fact, La Belle Sauvage and two separate editions of Northern Lights outsold His Dark Materials through BookScan’s TCM. This may be an issue of size more than anything else—the combined series tops 1,000 pages in hardback, which is a little more awkward to carry around on the Tube than a Kindle is.

Another small screen-boosted title, Anne Glenconner’s Lady in Waiting, rose up the Weekly E-Book Ranking in the week ahead of Netflix dropping series three of "The Crown", which features Glenconner as a new character, and the week after the 89-year-old author appeared on Graham Norton’s BBC One show.

Week ending 16th November 2019. Titles with a selling price below £2 are excluded, as are titles priced £4.50 or below with any print versions priced above £17.99. Participating publishers: PRH UK, Hachette, HarperCollins, Pan Macmillan, Bloomsbury, Simon & Schuster, Bonnier Zaffre & Canongate.