Dawn retains top spot but fiction sales slump on 2010

Dawn French’s début novel, A Tiny Bit Marvellous (Penguin), retains its position at the summit of The Official UK Top 50 week-on-week, thanks to a promotional appearance on ITV’s “This Morning”, and a “£2.99 if you spend £10” deal at WH Smith.

The mass-market edition of the comic novel sold 44,978 copies in its first full week in UK bookshops. This is a 2011 record for a mass-market novel, beating the 40,740 seven-day sale Marian Keyes’ The Brightest Star in the Sky (also Penguin) scored in February.

Thanks to a better-than-half-price deal at Waterstone’s, Karin Slaughter’s Broken (Arrow) climbs two places into second position overall, while last week’s “£2.99 if you buy the Times” deal at WH Smith, Jodi Picoult’s Harvesting the Heart (Hodder), ascends seven places into third position.

All three novels in the late Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy re-enter The Official UK Top 50 with assistance from a deep-discount deal at Tesco. Sales of the Scandinavian crime thrillers were up 160% week-on-week, to 45,560 copies sold, thanks to their inclusion in the supermarket retailer's all-three-for-£5 promotion.

Alan Hollinghurst’s first novel in seven years, The Stranger’s Child (Picador), enters The Official UK Top 50 in 42nd place and takes top spot in this week's Original Fiction chart. This is the first time a "literary" novel has done so since David Mitchell's The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (Sceptre) did in May last year. Sales of Hollinghurst's novel were helped by a half-price “book of the week” deal at Waterstone’s and a “better than half price” promotion at Amazon.co.uk.

For the sixth consecutive week, publisher Transworld scores double non-fiction number ones with Bear Grylls' memoir, Mud, Sweat and Tears (Channel 4) holding top spot in the Hardback chart and Bill Bryson's At Home (Black Swan) retaining its position at the summit of the Paperback list. Since Nielsen BookScan Total Consumer Market records began in 2001, Penguin is the only other publisher to have matched this achievement.

In total, £25.2m was spent on printed books at UK book retail outlets in the seven days to 2nd July, down 3.5% on the previous week and down 7.6% on the same week last year, when Picoult’s Picture Perfect (Hodder) topped the charts with a 47,037 seven-day sale and nine mass-market novels sold more than 20,000 copies. Just three achieved the feat last week, while only four hardback novels sold more than 2,000 copies at UK booksellers, compared to 11 in the same week last year.