January sales fail to spark growth as prices tumble

<p>January sales have had book-buyers flocking to the high street but post-Christmas sales are down on last year. In total, &pound;28.2m was spent at UK book retailers, including online, last week - down 26.6% on the previous week and 9.7% year on year. </p><p>The high street performed slightly better, with sales through Nielsen BookScan&#39;s General Retail Market, a strong indicator of high street bookshop performance, down a shallower 7%, to &pound;18.6m year on year.<br /><br />The bestselling book of the week ending 2nd January was Pedigree&#39;s <em>The X Factor Annual</em>. However, because it sold for just &pound;2.39 on average - 81.6% off its &pound;12.99 r.r.p - it, along with numerous other titles, is excluded from <em>The Bookseller&#39;</em>s official bestseller lists this week&mdash;which contain any title not discounted by more than 65%*.</p><p>In total, 25 titles that sold more than 5,000 copies last week were discounted by more than 65% on average, up from 15 in the comparative week last year. Of the 25, 12 sold more than 10,000 copies through BookScan&#39;s Total Consumer Market, and all of them are annuals&mdash;including the likes of <em>The Beano Annual</em> (22,449 copies sold at 73.7% off its &pound;7.99 r.r.p.) and <em>The High School Musical Annual</em> (18,033 copies sold at 79.6% off its r.r.p.).<br /><br />With deep-discounted stock excluded from the charts, Stephenie Meyer takes the top three positions. Her third <em>Twilight </em>novel, <em>Eclipse</em> (Atom), takes top spot with a 27,059 sale, while <em>Twilight</em> (20,231 copies sold) and <em>Breaking Dawn</em> (19,144) take second and third position respectively. James Patterson&#39;s <em>Run for Your Life</em> (Arrow) takes fourth with the mass-market edition of Meyer&#39;s <em>New Moon</em> in fifth.<br /><br />This week&#39;s highest new entry is Sarah Waters&#39; <em>The Little Stranger</em>. The Man Booker shortlistee is the first member of Channel Four&#39;s forthcoming &quot;The TV Book Club&quot;. It sold 11,715 copies last week&mdash;strong enough for 12th position overall. Nick Hornby&#39;s <em>Juliet, Naked </em>(Penguin) also joins the Official UK Top 50, in 18th place.</p><p>*For comparison purposes, an <a href="../charts/108555-official-uk-top-50-all-titles.html"><strong>un-edited Official UK Top 50</strong></a> is available online, alongside <a href="../charts/108500-official-uk-top-50-deep-discounts-excluded.html"><strong>the regular edition</strong></a> based on <em>The Bookseller</em>&#39;s long-established chart inclusions/exclusions policy. </p>