Helen Fielding's new Bridget Jones novel, Mad About the Boy (Jonathan Cape), has become one of the fastest-selling books of the year.
The long-awaited return of Bridget Jones, serialised in the Sunday Times, achieved a sale of 48,570 copies across all print editions in its first week on sale. Only Dan Brown's Inferno (Bantam Press) and Sylvia Day's Entwined with You (Penguin) enjoyed greater sales in their opening weeks on sale in 2013.
First-week sales of Mad About the Boy were up more than 250% on the previous book in the series, The Edge of Reason (Picador)—a book that went on to sell 280,000 copies in hardback.
Mad About the Boy, which has received lukewarm reviews from critics, was one of more than 300 hardbacks officially released on "Super Thursday" (11th October) last week. Of the 300, 23 generated revenue of more than £10,000 in the UK last week, with four taking more than £100,000 through bookshop tills: Mad About the Boy; no-nonsense football boss Harry Redknapp's memoir Always Managing (Ebury Press); actor David Jason's memoir My Life (Century); and Wilbur Smith's new Hector Cross adventure, Vicious Circle (Macmillan).
Nielsen BookScan TCM Top 5,000 data reveals that, assisted by Super Thursday enthusiasm, sales of hardback books rocketed almost 20% week on week last week, with sales of hardback novels jumping 49% in volume terms. Sales of hardback non-fiction titles enjoyed a 16% uplift while sales of hardback children's books jumped 13%.
The hardback edition of Mad About the Boy takes pole position in the Official UK Top 50 with a 47,057 sale, ahead of David Walliams' Demon Dentist (HarperCollins, 31,020 copies sold) and the fourth book in Rick Riordan's Heroes of Olympus series, The House of Hades (Puffin). The latter sold 17,752 copies in its opening week—up 11% on the previous book in the series, The Mark of Athena.
Other new entries into the Official UK Top 50 include: Michael Connelly's The Black Box which, helped by a "Recommended Read" deal at Tesco, was the bestselling paperback novel of the week and Orion stablemate Jodi Ellen Malpas' originally self-published erotic novel, This Man (Orion).
Also new is the memoir of the Pakistani schoolgirl who stood up to the Taliban, Malala Yousafzai. I am Malala (Weidenfeld) sold 4,989 copies in the the UK last week—strong enough for 49th position in the Official UK Top 50 and 11th position in this week's Top 20 Hardback Non-fiction chart.
Despite the big uplift in sales of hardback books, a decline in sales of paperbacks meant the total value of the printed book market increased just 1.6% (£500,000) week on week, to £31.2m. Sales were down 3.3% (£1m) on the comparative week last year when J K Rowling's The Casual Vacancy (Little, Brown) topped the charts.
Photo credit: Rex Features