Kids rush to Walliams' Demon Dentist

Kids rush to Walliams' Demon Dentist

David Walliams' new children's novel, Demon Dentist (HarperCollins), has become the fastest-selling children's book of the year.

The book, released on one of the biggest days in the 2013 publishing calendar (26th September), sold 29,002 copies in the UK last week, scoring Walliams his first ever Official UK Top 50 number one. Demon Dentist beats the previous biggest first-week sales record in 2013 of 22,871 copies, set by Francesca Simon's World Book Day title, Horrid Henry's Guide to Perfect Parents (Orion), in February.

According to Nielsen data, more than 300 hardback books were officially published on Thursday last week—more than four times the daily average of 2013 thus far—with 24 generating revenue of more than £10,000 at UK book retail outlets in just three days.

One of the week's most talked-about releases, however, left the market only modestly shaken and stirred. William Boyd's James Bond thriller, Solo (Cape), opened with a sale of 8,692 copies across all print editions last week—down 48% on the first-week sales of Jeffery Deaver's 2011-published Bond thriller, Carte Blanche (Hodder), and down 82% on the opening-week sale of Sebastian Faulks' Bond novel, Devil May Care (Penguin 007). Despite this, the hardback edition's 8,478 sale was Boyd's biggest ever in the format, beating the 5,743 sale scored by Waiting for Sunrise (Bloomsbury) in February last year.

Solo débuts in 17th position in this week's Official UK Top 50 and third position in the Original Fiction chart behind Bernard Cornwell's seventh Warrior Chronicle, The Pagan Lord (HarperCollins), and Stephen King's Doctor Sleep (Hodder). The latter is the long-awaited sequel to his 1977-published The Shining (Hodder)—sales of which have rocketed 170% over the past month in anticipation of the arrival of Doctor Sleep.

Jamie Oliver's Save with Jamie (Michael Joseph) was, for the fourth consecutive week, the bestselling hardback non-fiction title in the UK. Sales totalled 17,947 copies in the UK last week—strong enough for third position in the Official UK Top 50 behind Demon Dentist and Doctor Sleep.

New entries into the Top 20 Hardback Non-fiction chart this week include: TV chef Nigel Slater's Eat (Fourth Estate); honorary Brit Bill Bryson's One Summer: America 1927 (Doubleday); and former special adviser to Gordon Brown Damian McBride's The Power Trip (Biteback). The latter sold 2,187 copies in its first week on sale—seven times the number his former boss' Gordon Brown's Courage (Bloomsbury) sold in its first week back in June 2007.

Helped by the plethora of new hardbacks hitting shelves, and an uplift in sales of countless university season set texts, the value of the printed book market climbed for a fifth consecutive week last week—by 4.5%, or £1.2m, to £27.8m. However, sales were down 13.6% (£4.4m) on the comparative week last year, when J K Rowling's The Casual Vacancy was released, taking £1.3m through the tills alone.