James eclipses Jamie and Dan in record-breaking week

James eclipses Jamie and Dan in record-breaking week

E L James has set yet another record by chalking up the longest unbroken streak atop Nielsen BookScan's Official Top 50 since records began in 1998.

Shifting 410,639 units, Fifty Shades of Grey (Arrow) claimed the number one spot for the 14th consecutive week, besting the 13-week run of Jamie Oliver's Jamie's 30-Minute Meals (Michael Joseph) in autumn 2010.
 
In total, the Fifty Shades trilogy notched up 976,338 copies sold at a value of £4.25m, including almost 6,000 copies sold of the £24 box set, which hits the top 50 for the first time. This is, however, a 19% and 21% drop in volume and value sales respectively on the previous week.
 
Including last week's totals, James' 2012 value sales hit £31.4m, going past Dan Brown's
2005 BookScan total of £28.2m. Only J K Rowling has now sold more in a single calendar year than James.
 
There was another first this week—with Sylvia Day's Fifty Shades-esque Bared to You (Penguin) moving up 17 places to fourth place, it is the first time originally self-published books took the first four places in the BookScan overall charts.   
 
While James' sales have climaxed, other erotica authors are rising. In addition to Day, Marina Anderson’s Haven of Obedience (Sphere) and Nikki Gemmell’s The Bride Stripped Bare (Fourth Estate) all had week on week sales boosts. Gemmell’s book, originally published anonymously in Australia in 2003, rose 182 places to 38th position week on week. This is a return to the Top 50 after eight and a half years; the book peaked at 46th place on 27th March 2004.
 
John Grisham’s The Litigators, his first adult paperback with Hodder since the switch from Random House, at fifth place is the highest début in the Top 50, a week that saw seven new entries.
 
However, the 19,097 copies shifted by The Litigators last week is a 46% drop on the first week of his summer 2011 mass market release The Confession (Arrow). This is not exactly comparing like for like—digital will have chipped away at some of this percentage and The Confession was released in the run-up to Father’s Day 2011—but as we have noted in previous weeks, it seems that James’ overwhelming stranglehold on the top of the charts is taking the wind out of the sails (or sales?) of some big name authors.
 
Tess Gerritsen's The Silent Girl (Bantam), James Patterson's Private Games (Arrow), Conn Iggulden's Conqueror (Harper) and Erica James' The Real Katie Lavender (Orion) also notch Top 50 places in first full week of sales.
 
Meanwhile, S J Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep (Black Swan) has slipped out of the Top 50 after just over seven months (an astonishing 29 consecutive weeks). The mass market edition of the début has sold 311,086 copies for £1.6m in that period.
 
In total, 4.4 million books were sold through BookScan's Total Consumer Market last week for £28.8m. That is a 5.5% drop by value on last week, but flat on the same week in 2011.