Crime and sci-fi hit as October market down on 2009

<p>Spending at UK booksellers was down 1.5% year-on-year in October with crime and sci-fi genres suffering, although this was an improvement on September when sales were down on 2009 by 3.2%. Book sales in October dropped by &pound;2.3m year-on-year, to &pound;144.7m, according to Nielsen BookScan data. Volume sales were down 3.3% (562,000) to 16.7m, however the actual selling price was up 1.8% (15p) to &pound;8.65.<br /><br />BookScan GRM data suggests high street bookshop sales were down 4% (to &pound;71.8m) although the measure includes sales at both Tesco and Asda.<br /><br />Genres down year-on-year include sci-fi, which may be due to Terry Pratchett&#39;s <em>Unseen Adademicals</em> (Doubleday) being classed as sci-fi last year whereas this year&#39;s <em>I Shall Wear Midnight</em> (Doubleday Children&#39;s) is a children&#39;s Discworld novel.</p><p>Crime is also down year on year, due to Dan Brown&#39;s <em>The Lost Symbol</em> (Transworld) selling huge numbers in hardback last year. Historical fiction is also down year-on-year due to the success of Hilary Mantel&#39;s Booker-winning <em>Wolf Hall</em> (Fourth Estate) in 2009. Both children&#39;s fiction and children&#39;s annuals have too seen a slide year on year. <br /><br />Genres seeing a rise in sales include the food and drink category, thanks to Jamie Oliver&#39;s <em>Jamie&#39;s 30-minute Meals</em> (Michael Joseph) and biography &amp; memoirs with celebrities appearing to be bouncing back in 2010. Pre-school titles have also seen a rise year-on-year led by Julia Donaldson and Claire Freedman&#39;s latest <em>Aliens love Panta Claus</em> (Simon &amp; Schuster Childrens Books) picture book. Thanks to the success of Tate&#39;s Gauguin publications the art category has experienced a rise year on year and the film/TV category has also had a positive year.<br /><br /><a href=" at UK booksellers reached a then 2010 high in the month of September with spending at UK booksellers totaling &pound;132.2m during the four weeks to 2nd October. However, sales were down 3.2% year-on-year in value terms and volume sales were down 2.5% to 16.5m. Average selling prices were down 0.7% (six pence) to &pound;8.03.</a></p>