Obama memoir hits charts top spot, PRH says 147,000 sold

Obama memoir hits charts top spot, PRH says 147,000 sold

Barack Obama's A Promised Land (Viking) has soared straight into the UK Official Top 50 number one spot in its first week on sale. Though Nielsen BookScan is still unable to provide volume or value figures, with England's bookshops closed across lockdown, Penguin Random House has said the book has sold over 147,000 copies across all editions in the UK and Ireland during its first five days on sale.

PRH said there had been over 80,000 print sales, just over 59,000 audio editions - the biggest first week sales for any PRH UK audiobook - and 4,566 e-book sales. In Ireland, where bookshops have also been closed, the hardback edition sold 3,770 ICM.

Assuming the 80,000 print units were recorded through the TCM, that would make A Promised Land the second-fastest-selling non-fiction title this year, after Mrs Hinch's This is Me debuted at 91,389 copies in October, before the second lockdown fell.

Only one title with an r.r.p. at £30 or above has ever hit the overall number one before: Jamie Oliver's Great Britain, at £30 in 2011. A Promised Land's £35 r.r.p. makes it the most expensive retail priced number one since BookScan records began, although it will likely have been discounted. Before the first lockdown earlier this year, Hilary Mantel's The Mirror and the Light became the most expensive number one in BookScan history, with a £17.37 average selling price in its third week on sale.

This is the former US president's first week in the overall number one spot—despite his debut, Dreams from My Father (Canongate), selling 711,403 copies and notching up 12 weeks as the Paperback Non-Fiction number one, it peaked at second place in the Top 50. His wife Michelle's autobiography Becoming (Viking) famously notched up the 2018 Christmas number one and has gone on to sell over 760,000 copies in hardback to date via the Nielsen BookScan TCM. 

David Walliams and Tony Ross' Code Name Bananas (HarperCollins) slipped to second place, but still blocked J K Rowling's The Ickabog (Little, Brown) from the Children's number one spot—making this the duo's 28th week atop the Children's chart this year, with four different titles.

Announced as the Booker Prize winner last Thursday (19th November), Douglas Stuart's Shuggie Bain (Picador) stormed into the Top 50, returning to the Original Fiction top 20 in fifth. Last year's joint winners, Bernardine Evaristo's Girl, Woman, Other (Penguin) and Margaret Atwood's The Testaments (Chatto & Windus), have gone on to sell 729,494 copies between them up to 7th November (with no sales data for Lockdown 1.0). 

Rupi Kaur's Home Body (Simon & Schuster) leaped to the top of the Paperback Non-Fiction chart—her second title to do so, after 2017's The Sun and Her Flowers

Elsewhere, Christmas titles decked out the charts, with six festive-themed novels in the Mass Market Fiction top 20—as Cressida McLaughlin's A Cornish Cream Tea Christmas (HarperCollins) became the latest to debut. The kids' chart also got in on the act, with Enid Blyton's story collection Christmas Wishes (Hodder Children's) debuting in Children's and YA Fiction and classic seasonal picture books such as Dr Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (HarperCollins Children's) and Allan and Janet Ahlberg's The Jolly Christmas Postman (Puffin) jingling all the way up the Pre-School top 20.