Blair defies protests with record-breaking first week

Blair defies protests with record-breaking first week

<p>Tony Blair&#39;s <em>A Journey</em> (Hutchinson) has officially become one of the fastest-selling memoirs since records began. The hotly-anticipated and strictly-embargoed memoir by the former Prime Minister sold 92,060 copies in its first four days on sale, the strongest ever opening-week sale of a memoir since Nielsen BookScan records began in 1998.<br /><br />Just over &pound;1.2m was spent on the book over the four days, which was heavily discounted by major retailers&mdash;its average selling price over the four-day period was just &pound;13.09, 47.6% off its &pound;25 r.r.p. In spending terms, 4p in every &pound;1 spent at UK booksellers last week went towards a copy of the Blair memoir.<br /><br />Blair&#39;s book smashes the previous record set by a political memoir, held by Alastair Campbell&#39;s <em>The Blair Years</em> (also Hutchinson), which sold 24,000 copies in its first week in bookshops and has gone on to sell 143,000 copies across all editions to date. In just four days, <em>A Journey</em> has already outsold Peter Mandelson&#39;s <em>The Third Man</em> (HarperPress) which has scored 65,000 sales since its release on 15th July.<br /><br />Its sale will surprise many, not least the Daily Mirror&#39;s &quot;betting guru&quot; Derek McGovern who said last week: &quot;You can still get 5-1 [odds with Paddy Power] that it sells fewer than 25,000 in its first week&mdash;a great bet. These days there is no market for war books&quot;.<br /><br />However, <em>A Journey&#39;s</em> opening-week sale is down around 30,000 copies on the estimated 120,000 copies&nbsp; Margaret Thatcher&#39;s memoirs, <em>The Downing Street Years </em>(HarperCollins), sold in its first week on sale, although the Iron Lady&#39;s memoirs were released in October 1993, more than four years before Nielsen BookScan&#39;s official sales records began.<br /><br />Although <em>A Journey&#39;s</em> sale is the strongest ever opening week sale according to BookScan, arguably the title of the fastest-selling memoir of all time still belongs to David Beckham, whose <em>My Side</em> (HarperCollins), sold 86,100 copies in just two days on release in 2003.</p>