Average selling prices hit five-year high

<p>Dan Brown&#39;s <em>The Lost Symbol </em>(Bantam Press) has retained its position at the summit of the Official UK Top 50 for a fourth week, as average selling prices hit a five-year high.<br /><br />Although total volume sales at UK book retailers fell 2.3% week on week (to 4.3m), spending increased 2.1% (to &pound;38.6m), thanks in part to a slight descrease in r.r.p. discounting week on week and an increase in hardback book purchases. As a consequence, and also due to general increases in hardback r.r.p. levels in particular (as previously reported in <em>The Bookseller</em>), average selling prices through Nielsen BookScan&#39;s Total Consumer Market climbed above the &pound;9 mark (to &pound;9.04) for the first time in five years.</p><p>Along with <em>The Lost Symbol</em>&#39;s 50,482 seven-day sale (bringing its total to 855,580), numerous other hardbacks enjoyed solid sales in the week following &quot;Super Thursday&quot; on 1st October. Terry Pratchett&#39;s <em>The Unseen Academicals </em>(Doubleday) sold 32,546 copies in its first full week in UK bookshops and takes second position in the Official UK Top 50, while the latest edition of <em>Guinness World Records</em> climbs once place to third overall.<br /><br />Peter Kay&#39;s <em>The Sound of Laughter </em>follow-up, <em>Saturday Night Peter</em>; Stieg Larsson&#39;s <em>The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets&#39; Nest</em> (MacLehose); and Jacqueline Wilson&#39;s Victorian tale, <em>Hetty Feather </em>(Doubleday) all enjoy spots in the top 10, along with Hilary Mantel&#39;s <em>Wolf Hall</em> (Fourth Estate). Mantel&#39;s Man Booker winner enjoyed a 450% sales boost week on week to a phenomenal 17,159 copies sold&mdash;the strongest sale of any Man Booker winner in its winning week since BookScan records began in 1998. Its sale was more than double that of last year&#39;s winner, Aravind Adiga&#39;s <em>The White Tiger</em> (Atlantic), which sold 8,024 during the week it won the coveted prize.<br /><br />There&#39;s also a place in the Top 50 for the first authorised Winnie-the-Pooh sequel in more than 80 years. David Benedictus&#39; <em>Return to Hundred Acre Wood </em>(Egmont) sold 9,512 copies at UK book retailers last week. It takes seventh position in the children&#39;s chart that, for the first time in 27 weeks, is not topped by Stephenie Meyer. Meyer&#39;s <em>New Moon</em> (Atom) falls two places to third overall, and is leap-frogged by both <em>Hetty Feather</em> and Pratchett&#39;s <em>Nation </em>(Corgi). </p><p><a href="../charts/99906-official-uk-top-50.html" target="_blank">The Official Top 50. </a></p>