E L James' Fifty Shades of Grey has become the bestselling book since records began, its UK publisher Random House has claimed, with combined physical and digital edition sales now standing "in excess of 5.3m".
According to Nielsen BookScan, sales of the print edition of Fifty Shades of Grey totalled 242,568 copies in the week ending 4th August, bringing its total sales since publication to 3.76m. Random House figures suggest digital sales account for around 30% of its total UK sales, with the publisher claiming the book has surpassed both Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code (Corgi) and J K Rowling's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Bloomsbury) to become the bestselling book since official sales records began in 1998. Rowling's literary agent Neil Blair has refused to comment on the claim.
In total, 671,900 copies of James's erotic trilogy were snapped up at UK bookshops last week, but although sales of the three books fell eight percent week on week, overall book sales grew three percent, to £26.3m, apparently confounding predictions that the London 2012 Olympic Games would lead to a barren high street with shoppers staying at home to watch the year's biggest sporting event. In fact, BookScan's General Retail Market panel of booksellers, which includes Waterstones, W H Smith and general independent booksellers, reported sales were up 5% week on week last week.
In addition to the works of E L James, six other erotic novels were also among the top 50 bestselling books of the week: Sylvia Day's Bared to You (Penguin, 80,362 copies sold); Vina Jackson's Eighty Days Yellow (Orion, 12,043); Marina Anderson's Haven of Obedience (Sphere, 10,172); Portia Da Costa's In Too Deep (Virgin 10,121); Nikki Gemmell's The Bride Stripped Bare (Fourth Estate, 9,226); and Lucinda Carrington's The Ninety Days of Genevieve (Virgin, 5,622).
In hardback, Australian Trudi Canavan has scored her first ever Bookseller number one. The Traitor Queen (Orbit), the concluding part of her bestselling Traitor Spy trilogy, was the bestselling hardback novel in the UK last week, selling 5,101 copies at UK booksellers. It takes top spot in this week's Original Fiction chart ahead of Little, Brown stablemate Mark Billingham, whose new novel, Rush of Blood (Sphere), sold 3,304 copies in its first week on bookshop shelves.
In non-fiction, Olympian Tom Daley has become the first sportsman to top the Hardback Non-fiction list in almost six years. His My Story (Michael Joseph), sold 3,414 copies at UK booksellers last week, up 260% week on week. The last sportsman to top the chart was Steven Gerrard in September 2006.
The Paperback Non-fiction chart also welcomes a new number one: The Hairy Biker's The Hairy Dieters (Weidenfeld). Sales of the latest book by the hirsute duo totalled 16,296 copies last week. It is the fifth week they have appeared at number one this year - their Big Book of Baking spent four weeks at the summit of the Hardback Non-fiction best-seller list between March and May.