Fifty Shades on top again

Fifty Shades on top again

The three novels that comprise E L James’ Fifty Shades trilogy were once again the bestselling books in the UK last week, scoring combined sales of 112,388 copies. Book one, Fifty Shades of Grey, accounted for 45% of that total (50,582 copies), and took just shy of £215,000 through bookshop tills.

The most valuable book to booksellers last week, though, was Hilary Mantel’s much-anticipated sequel to her Man Booker-winning Wolf Hall, Bring Up the Bodies (Fourth Estate). The book sold 23,558 copies across all print editions in its first week on shelves, taking £306,000 through the tills. It outsold the next bestselling hardback novel of the week, Charlaine Harris’ Deadlocked (Gollancz), by six-and-a-half copies to one, and scores Mantel her first Original Fiction number one.

New works by two other big names in fiction, John Irving and Mark Haddon, also hit bookshop shelves last week, but In One Person (Doubleday) and The Red House (Cape) could only manage comparatively modest sales of 2,695 copies between them.

Mass-market editions of two books that sold well over 200,000 copies in hardback hit the Official UK Top 50 this week. Second only to Terry Pratchett’s Snuff (Doubleday) as the bestselling hardback novel of 2011, the mass-market edition of Martina Cole’s The Faithless (Headline) hits this week’s Official UK Top 50 in fifth position.

The mass-market edition of Kate McCann’s Madeleine (Corgi), meanwhile, débuts in 19th. The book, serialised in the Sun, sold 72,500 copies in its first three days on sale last year, and went on to sell 251,000 copies in hardback.

As Tom Bower’s biography of Simon Cowell, Sweet Revenge (Faber), returns to the top of this week’s Top 20 Hardback Non-fiction chart after a week’s hiatus, two reality TV stars début. “The Only Way is Essex” star Sam Faiers’ Living Life the Essex Way (Simon & Schuster) hits the chart in sixth place, while “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” star Paddy Doherty’s Hard Knocks & Soft Spots (Ebury Press) joins in 10th.

Also new are James Holland’s The Dambusters (Bantam Books), Penny Junor’s biography of Prince William (Hodder & Stoughton), and fashion guru Gok Wan’s Gok Cooks Chinese (Michael Joseph)—a tie-in to his forthcoming Channel 4 series. Speaking to the Radio Times recently, Wan said he is prepared for any backlash from foodies. “I’m ready for the critics to say ‘What the hell is Gok doing? He normally grabs breasts and now he’s grabbing woks—what gives him the right to do that?’”.

The title “Gok’s Wok” was originally mooted for the series, but Wan wasn’t keen as he “wanted the series to be taken seriously”.

Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games novels remain the bestselling books for children/young adults in the UK. Six different editions of the three stories earn places in this week's Official UK Top 50. Peppa Pig: Peppa Meets the Queen (Ladybird) was the bestselling pre-school title in the UK last week, ahead of Julia Donaldson's Zog (Alison Green), while there was a big sales boost for Maurice Sendak following his death last week. According to Nielsen BookScan data, sales of Where the Wild Things Are (Red Fox), first published in the 1960s, rocketed 360% week-on-week.

In part due to Madeleine's huge hardback sales in the comparative week last year (£700,000 was spent on copies of the book in the week ending 14th May 2011), printed book sales in the UK last week were down 10.5% (£2.6m) year on year, to £22.3m. The biggest sector of the market in decline remains fiction. Sales within the Mantel-boosted hardback fiction genre were up 10% year on year, according to BookScan Top 5,000 data, but spending within the paperback sector was down 20%.