Fast Diet holds top spot in healthy sales week

Mimi Spencer and Michael Mosley's intermittent fasting guide, The Fast Diet, was comfortably the bestselling book in the UK for a second consecutive week last week, as overall sales of books continued to improve along with the weather.

According to sales monitors Nielsen BookScan, spending on printed books last week jumped 11.3% (£2.5m) week on week to £24.6m, with the value of the market down just 1.5% (£0.4m) on the same week last year. Data from BookScan's General Retail Market panel of booksellers, a strong indicator of high street bookshop performance, revealed sales jumped 14.1% week on week and were up 5% year on year.

Sales of The Fast Diet increased slightly week on week, with sales totalling 34,703 copies in the seven-day period ending 2nd February — up 3% on the previous week. It holds top spot in the Official UK Top 50 for a second consecutive week, with publisher Short Books becoming the first independent publisher to spend two consecutive weeks at number one with a non-fiction title in almost four years. The last indie publisher to achieve the feat was John Blake in April 2009, with the late Jade Goody's Fighting to the End.

Hairy Bikers Dave Myers and Si King hold second position week on week with their own weight-loss guide, The Hairy Dieters (Weidenfeld), while Red Nose Day fundraiser, The Great British Comic Relief Bake Off (BBC), climbs one place to third position in the Official UK Top 50. The two books sold 17,874 copies and 15,073 units in the UK respectively last week.

Faber Academy graduate Rachel Joyce's The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (Black Swan) was the bestselling novel of the week, selling 13,486 copies at UK book retail outlets in the seven days to 2nd February. Joyce becomes the second graduate of the writing course to reach number one in The Bookseller's Mass-market Fiction chart. The first, S J Watson with Before I Go to Sleep (also published by Transworld), reached pole position in the chart in January last year, helped, as has been the case with Rachel Joyce, by his novel's inclusion in the Richard and Judy Spring Book Club.

New entries into the Official UK Top 50 include: the mass-market editions of Joanna Trollope's The Soldier's Wife (Black Swan) and Susan Lewis' No Child of Mine (Arrow), both of which enjoyed spots in Tesco's "book of the week" promotion last week; Jacqueline Wilson's new novel Queenie (Doubleday); the long-awaited paperback edition of Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid novel Cabin Fever (Puffin); and the bestselling hardback novel of the week, Josephine Cox's The Broken Man (HarperCollins).

Hilary Mantel saw her value to booksellers soar week on week courtesy of her Costa Book of the Year win. Total spending on print editions of her books jumped 92%, to £103,000. Wolf Hall (Fourth Estate) was the bestselling novel at independent bookshops last week, and re-enters the Official UK Top 50 in 25th position. Bring Up the Bodies (Fourth Estate) narrowly misses out on a place in the Top 50, but saw its sales climb 107% week on week, to 3,506 copies sold. Total sales of both books now stand at 999,454 copies.