Sales of the six novels in contention for the Man Booker Prize trebled week-on-week following the announcement of the shortlist last Tuesday (11th September), but sales were down significantly on the 2011 crop in the comparative week last year.
According to Nielsen BookScan Total Consumer Market data, sales of the novels vying for the 2012 award totalled 8,156 copies in the seven days to 15th September—up 193% on the previous week, but down 57% on the sales of last year's shortlist in the comparative week.
Hilary Mantel's Bring up the Bodies (Fourth Estate) was comfortably the bestselling book on the 2012 shortlist, scoring almost a third of the entire shortlist's sales. The novel sold 2,646 copies—up 65% on its sales the previous week.
Two other books on the shortlist also scored sales of more than 1,000 copies: Deborah Levy's Swimming Home (Faber) and Alison Moore's The Lighthouse (Salt)—both of which have just hit the shelves in mass-market paperback editions.
Jeet Thayli enjoyed the biggest week-on-week boost proportionally, with sales of Narcopolis climbing 627%. However, at 727 copies sold, it proved the least popular novel in sales terms with the buying public.
Despite the big week-on-week uplift, sales were down significantly on last year, when all six novels in contention for the 2011 award sold more than 1,000 copies in the week the shortlist was revealed. Sales were down 57% year on year, with the 8,156 figure the lowest sales figure from a shortlist in the week of its announcement since 2008, when just 3,638 copies of the six novels were snapped up at UK booksellers.
Man Booker shortlist sales: last week (week-on-week boost)
1) Hilary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies: 2,646 (+64%). Total sales to date: 109,908
2) Deborah Levy's Swimming Home: 1,546 (+539%). Total sales to date: 3,637
3) Alison Moore's The Lighthouse: 1,392 (+392%). Total sales to date: 2,670
4) Tan Twan Eng's The Garden of Evening Mists: 950 (+446%). Total sales to date: 2,403
5) Will Self's Umbrella: 895 (+141%). Total sales to date: 3,617
6) Jeet Thayli's Narcopolis: 727 (+627%). Total sales to date: 2,156