Hunger Games and Fifty Shades dominate top ten

Hunger Games and Fifty Shades dominate top ten

The three novels that comprise E L James' much-discussed Fifty Shades trilogy were the three bestselling books in the UK last week. The Twilight-inspired erotic trilogy takes positions one-through-three in this week's Official UK Top 50, led by book one, Fifty Shades of Grey, with sales of 62,280 copies.

In total, £477,000 was spent on copies of the books, with sales totalling 116,800 copies in volume terms. Directly behind them, the three “classic” editions of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy (Scholastic) take spots four-through-six in the chart. Combined sales of all the many editions of Collins' trilogy totalled 92,280 copies last week, or £479,000 in value terms.

It means that around four pence in every pound spent on a book last week went towards a copy of one of the books in one of the two trilogies.

The mass-market edition of Patricia Cornwell’s 19th Kay Scarpetta thriller, Red Mist (Sphere), débuts in seventh position in the Top 50, while Stephen King’s eighth Dark Tower installment, The Wind Through the Keyhole (Hodder & Stoughton), débuts in ninth.

It was comfortably the bestselling hardback novel of the week, outselling the next bestseller, Irvine Welsh’s Skagboys (Cape) by more than three copies to one. Only one hardback novel has sold more copies in a single week this year: Jeffrey Archer’s The Sins of the Father (Macmillan), which sold 12,673 copies in its first week on shelves in March.

Tom Bower’s highly publicised biography of entertainment mogul Simon Cowell, Sweet Revenge (Faber), also débuts in the top 10, and scores publisher Faber its first Hardback Non-fiction number one this century. The book was serialised in the Sun earlier this month, reportedly for a sum upwards of £75,000.

The BBC Proms Guide 2012 was once again the bestselling paperback non-fiction book of the week, and tops a chart which welcomes, for the very first time, a book that first hit shelves in the late 1950s: the late Bert Weedon's 44-page Play in a Day (Faber) manual for bussing guitarists.

Sales of the book have rocketed 94,000% over the past fortnight, following the author and musician’s death, aged 91, on 20th April. According to BookScan data, the book sold almost as many copies last week (1,900) as in 2009, 2010 and 2011 combined (2,160).

In total, £23.3m was spent on printed books in the week ending 28th April—up 2.5% (£0.6m) week on week and up 12% (£2.5m) on the same week last year. But the latter stat comes with a huge caveat—the comparative week last year was the week of the Royal Wedding when sales plunged to an eight-year low.