Retail website Bookshop.org has revealed its first Indie Champions list, a new monthly chart of its bestselling books, with Kazuo Ishiguro's Klara and the Sun (Faber) hitting number one in March.
The list highlights the books that have generated the most money for the independent bookshops currently on the platform over the past month. Ishiguro and Anna Jones' One: Pot, Pan, Planet (HarperCollins) sold the most copies across first format fiction and non-fiction books, respectively.
Matt Haig's The Midnight Library (Canongate) nestled in at number three with Michael Rosen's Many Different Kinds of Love: A Story of Life, Death and the NHS (Ebury) just behind it. At number five was Empireland: How Imperialism Shaped Modern Britain by Sathnam Sanghera (Penguin), followed by Douglas Stuart's Booker-winning Shuggie Bain (Picador)
Maggie O’Farrell's much-acclaimed Women's Prize-winner Hamnet was at seven with The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman (Penguin) at number eight. Raven Leilani's critically-lauded Luster (Picador) and The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex (Picador) completed the top 10.
Elsewhere in the top 20 were titles including Spring Cannot Be Cancelled: David Hockney in Normandy by David Hockney and Martin Gayford (Thames & Hudson) and Beata Heuman: Every Room Should Sing by Beata Heuman (Rizzoli).
Klara and the Sun held the top spot from the week commencing 21st February, starting with pre-orders, the retailer said. The site also hosted the Nobel Prize-winner in conversation with Nic Bottomley, co-founder of indie bookshop Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights. The event, which attracted more than 1,000 people, was the first of its kind for the site. Customers who purchased a copy of Klara and the Sun through an independent bookshop or Bookshop.org were able to attend. Bookshop.org said it sold more than 1,100 copies through its platform, with independents selling many more direct to their customers, including the indie-exclusive edition from Faber.
Nicole Vanderbilt, Bookshop.org UK m.d, said: “We are proud to share our first Indie Champions list, recognising the books that have made the most money for our affiliate indie bookshops. Seeing the success for the authors and publishers who have been huge champions of indies is a fantastic recognition of all their efforts. Our brilliant event with Kazuo Ishiguro meant that all the indies, no matter their size or location, were able to take ownership of an exclusive event that may not otherwise have been possible. As a result of their efforts, Klara and the Sun was our top-selling book across Bookshop.org across the whole of March. We look forward to our upcoming events offering the same opportunities for the bookshops.”
In support, Sarah Lutyens, owner of Lutyens & Rubenstein, added: “Bookshop.org has been a godsend to L&R during lockdown and playing around with our shopfront page has become something of an in-house obsession. The event with Faber brought a relaxed and intimate chat with Kazuo Ishiguro into the homes of lots of our customers during lockdown and encouraged them to buy copies, both directly and through Bookshop.org, in the kind of numbers we would have been pleased with if we were open as normal. We are confident that Bookshop.org will remain a key element of our offering in the months and years ahead.”
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