J K Rowling takes top two spots in bestseller charts

J K Rowling takes top two spots in bestseller charts

J K Rowling's The Casual Vacancy (Sphere) and her pseudonymous The Cuckoo's Calling (Little, Brown) were the top two bestselling books in the UK last week. The former outold the latter by more than 10,000 copies.

The mass-market edition of The Casual Vacancy, Rowling's first book for adults, sold 34,241 copies in the UK last week, while The Cuckoo's Calling sold 23,908 copies in hardback at UK booksellers. Last week's number one, John Grisham's The Racketeer (Hodder), fell two places into third position.

Since 2009, just three other writers have taken the top two spots in the Official UK Top 50 with two different titles: Suzanne Collins, Stephenie Meyer and E L James.

With The Casual Vacancy topping The Bookseller's Mass-Market Fiction chart and The Cuckoo's Calling scoring a number one in the Original Fiction bestseller list, Rowling becomes only the fourth writer in the past 10 years to top both charts simultaneously, following in the footsteps of Lee Child (in 2008), Danielle Steel (in 2007) and James Patterson (in 2006, 2009 and 2012).

Helped by a surge in sales of children's books following schools breaking for the summer holidays, the total value of the printed book market jumped £1.7m, or 7.6%, week on week, to £24.3m—a six-week high. David Walliams saw demand for his titles jump 13% in volume terms, while sales of books by Jeff Kinney, Liz Pichon, Michael Grant and Suzanne Collins increased by 25%.

A number of children's books also benefited from the birth of the Royal Baby. Martha Mumford's Shhh! Don't Wake the Royal Baby (Bloomsbury) saw its sales rocket 223% week on week, to 3,282 copies sold, while there were substantial uplifts for Nicholas Allan's The Royal Nappy (Red Fox, +115%), Mick Inkpen's Baggy Brown and the Royal Baby (Hodder, +155%), Robin Ink's A Royal Fairytale (Egmont, +98%) and Buster Books' Colour in Kate (+94%).

Sales of novels on the Man Booker longlist, meanwhile, jumped 215% week on week. Colm Toibin's The Testament of Mary (Penguin) proved the most popular longlisted novel in sales terms, selling 912 copies across all print editions. In total, the longlisted books sold 2,800 copies in the UK last week, but it was less than the 3,000 sale scored by Man Booker 2012 winner Hilary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies (Fourth Estate) alone in the comparative week last year.