Keyes leads charts but print hits 11-year low

Printed book sales fell below the £20m market last week, for the first time in almost 11 years.

Nielsen BookScan data reveals £19.995m was spent on printed books in the UK in the seven days to 20th April—the lowest level since the week ending 22nd June 2002. The size of the market fell 8% (£1.7m) on the previous week with sales down 12.1% (£2.8m) on the same week last year. As the school holidays ended and the summer term began, children's book sales tumbled dramatically—by 18% week on week according to analysis of BookScan's top 5,000 bestseller list data, while sales within the adult fiction and adult non-fiction market contracted by 9% and 6% respectively.

Helped by a £2.95 deal at Tesco, the mass-market edition of Marian Keyes' The Mystery of Mercy Close (Penguin) proved the bestselling printed book in the UK last week, selling 20,895 copies. It is the first time the bestselling novelist has topped The Official UK Top 50 since March 2009. Last week's chart-topper, Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl (Phoenix) falls one place to second position overall, while James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge's Zoo (Arrow) climbs three places into third.

The 2013 BBC Proms: The Official Guide joins the Official UK Top 50 as the highest new entry this week. The popular publication sold 9,055 copies in its first week on bookshop shelves, strong enough for seventh position overall. Other new entries include the mass-market edition of Cheryl Cole's memoir, My Story (Harper), and Charles Summing's A Foreign Country (Harper), the latter also benefitting from a deep-discount promotion at Tesco.

HarperCollins' single volume commemorative edition of Margaret Thatcher's Autobiography is a new entry in the Hardback Non-fiction chart. The book sold 1,076 copies in the UK last week, while the separate editions of her The Downing Street Years and The Path to Power also sold more than 1,000 copies between them in the UK last week.

Like the Thatcher memoirs, Barbara Demick's Nothing to Envy (Granta), her prize-winning title of life in North Korea, also saw its sales increase last week. Spurred by recent developments in the country, sales of the book jumped 52% week on week.

Meanwhile, all but two of the 20 writers that made the Granta Best of Young British Novelists 2013 list saw their book sales increase last week. In total, spending on books by the 20 writers jumped by a third week on week. However, just three of them (Ned Beauman, Taiye Selasi and Zadie Smith) saw their books sell more than 500 copies in the UK last week while 14 saw their books sell fewer than 50 copies.