Christmassy titles keep tills jingling

Christmassy titles keep tills jingling

Books by Katie Flynn, Katie Price, Carol Ann Duffy and the Top Gear presenters are among the bestselling Christmas-themed publications in the UK, while classic titles by Charles Dickens, Clement C Moore, Stella Gibbons and Raymond Briggs continue to make bookshop tills jingle.

More than 60 festive titles sold 1,000 copies or more at UK bookshops last week, taking just shy of £1m through bookshop tills. The mass-market edition of Flynn's 1945-set saga Christmas Wishes (Arrow) was the bestseller of the bunch, selling 12,400 copies; while two other titles, both paperback novels also, enjoyed five-figure sales: Karen Swan's Christmas at Tiffany's (Pan) and Trisha Ashley's The Magic of Christmas (Avon)—a festive re-working of her 2007 novel, Sweet Nothings

Charles Dickens' 1840s-published A Christmas Carol, available to buy in numerous editions from several publishers, sold 6,000 copies across all print editions last week, while Stella Gibbons' 1932 work, Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm (Vintage), also remains popular decades after it first hit the shelves. Recently re-released in a new edition by publisher Vintage, sales totalled 4,500 copies across all print editions last week.

Katie Price's second novel of the year, Santa Baby (Century), was the bestselling Christmas novel in a hardback format, selling 5,200 copies last week and taking £47,000 in value terms. Like Price, Random House stablemate James Patterson has also entered the Christmas market for the first time this year. His The Christmas Wedding (Century), co-written with Alex Cross's Trial collaborator Richard DiLallo, sold 1,500 copies last week.

In non-fiction, A Top Gear Christmas (BBC) currently tops the Christmas hit list, ahead of poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy's The Christmas Truce (Picador), and Cleveland Amory's heart-warming pet memoir, The Cat Who Came for Christmas (Corgi). Numerous Christmas cookbooks of yesteryear also enjoyed solid sales last week, with Nigella Lawson's Nigella Christmas (Chatto, 2008), Delia Smith's Happy Christmas (Ebury, 2009) and The Hairy Bikers' 12 Days of Christmas (Weidenfeld, 2010) combining to take just shy of £50,000 at UK bookshops.

Clement Moore's The Night Before Christmas, meanwhile, continues to fly from the shelves, 190 years after the poem was penned. According to Nielsen BookScan data, more than 8,000 copies of books based on the poem were snapped up at UK bookshops last week, across a plethora of different editions. The bestselling single edition, published by Macmillan just two months ago, sold 3,400 copies. Daisy Meadows' Natalie the Christmas Stocking Fairy (Orchard) proved the bestselling single-edition Christmas title for children last week, selling 4,100 copies.

Six Christmas-themed books in Roger Hargreaves' Mr Men range sold more than 2,000 copies at UK bookshops last week, led by the Moore-inspired Mr Men: The Night Before Christmas (Egmont), while Raymond Briggs' The Snowman (Puffin), first published in 1982, sold 2,500 copies across all editions. That's Not My Snowman, That's Not My Santa, and That’s Not My Reindeer, all penned by Usborne's Fiona Watt, also proved popular purchases, selling more than 2,500 copies each last week.

More than 200 Christmas-themed books earned a place in BookScan's Top 5,000 bestseller list for the seven days to 17th December period, selling a combined total of 250,000 copies and accounting for 3% of all books purchased. Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Great Britain (Michael Joseph) proved the bestselling book overall, selling 60,000 copies. It earned the TV chef his second consecutive Christmas number one and his fourth since the turn of the century. 

Crimbo Crackers*

1) Katie Flynn's Christmas Wishes (Arrow) 12,441 copies sold

2) Karen Swan's Christmas at Tiffany's  (Pan) 11,489

3) Trisha Ashley's The Magic of Christmas (Avon) 10,607

4) A Top Gear Christmas (BBC) 5,495

5) Katie Price's Santa Baby (Century) 5,235

6) Carol Ann Duffy's The Christmas Truce (Picador) 5,110

7) Cleveland Amory's The Cat Who Came for Christmas (Corgi) 4,117

8) Daisy Meadows' Natalie the Christmas Stocking Fairy (Orchard) 4,065

9) Roger Hargreaves' Mr Men: The Night Before Christmas (Egmont) 3,847

10) Annie Groves' Home for Christmas (Harper) 3,819

*Single editions only. Sales through seven days to 17th December 2011.