High 5: Jamie tops the chart again

High 5: Jamie tops the chart again

Jamie Oliver has continued his blistering return to form, shifting 52,211 copies of 5 Ingredients: Quick and Easy Food (Michael Joseph) last week through Nielsen BookScan's Total Consumer Market to take the Official UK number one by almost 40,000 units. 

The celeb chef notched up his best-ever first week sales total (36,959 copies) in the previous seven-day period, and 5 Ingredients' sales have risen a tasty 41% week on week. The book's initial first fortnight volume total of 89,170 is a shade better than his previous first 14-day record of 88,511 units, achieved by Jamie's Ministry of Food (Michael Joseph) in 2008. Encouragingly for Oliver and Michael Joseph, 5 Ingredients' sales to date have come before the launch of the tie-in Channel 4 series, which aired its first episode on 5th September.

The number ones on all six major The Bookseller charts retained their crowns week on week. Both Philip Gregory and Victoria Hislop celebrated a solid month atop of Original Fiction and Mass Market Fiction, respectively. Hislop's Cartes Postales from Greece (Headline) shifted 14,957 copies and was number two in the overall chart—after posting three consecutive 20,000-plus units sales (and two overall number ones), her volume declined 30% against the previous seven days. Gregory's The Last Tudor's (Simon & Schuster) four consecutive weeks atop Original Fiction is a personal best—her previous hardback, Three Sisters, Three Queens (Simon & Schuster) had three pole positions on the trot last year. 

Gregory and Lynda La Plante's Good Friday are the only hardback fiction titles in the Top 50, with the crime writer's latest in her young Jane Tennison series selling 3,981 copies through the tills. This is La Plante's first book in her deal with Bonnier Zaffre, moving over after being published by Simon & Schuster for 30 years. So far, so good: in two weeks Good Friday has sold 7,090 copies, 39% up on the first fortnight total for Hidden Killers, her last S&S title (also in the Tennison series). Zaffre has published La Plante a trifle earlier—Hidden Killers came out in October 2016—and has interestingly opted for a more abstract, less obviously crime jacket. 

In Non-Fiction, Oliver of course rules in Hardback, while Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens (Vintage) takes its second straight and ninth non-consecutive Paperback summit. The Sapiens paperback has now spent two and a half years in the TCM Top 5000, earning £2.8m on almost 353,000 copies sold.

In Children's it is six number ones on the bounce for J K Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany's Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Little, Brown).  The paperback of the playscript has sold just over 88,000 copies in its six-week run at the kid's summit, although at this point in 2016 the hardback had shifted 1.2 million units.

It was not a huge week for new titles, but a last flurry of summer reading saw a number of genre fiction paperbacks bursting into the Top 50, including Jane Costello's The Time of Our Lives (Simon & Schuster, 31st place, 4509 copies), Elisabeth Carpenter's 99 Red Balloons (Avon, 35th, 4,335) and Felicity Everett's The People at Number 9 (HQ, 41st, 4,090). The biggest non-fiction début was actor/comedian Robert Webb's How Not to be a Boy (Canongate), which hit 47th place on 3,697 unit-sale.

Overall, £25.9m was sold through the TCM last week, 3.8% down on the same week in 2016—the children's market in particular had a rough week with its £6.1m representing an 8.1% fall from last year, due in part to the Cursed Child differential.