New low for R&J Summer Reads

<p>Richard &amp; Judy&#39;s Summer Reads hit a new low last week as sales of the book under discussion were the worst since the club began. The mass market edition of Stephen L Carter&#39;s<em> Palace Council</em> (Vintage) sold just 3,363 copies through Nielsen BookScan&#39;s Total Consumer Market last week, missing out on a place in the Official UK Top 50 by more than 1,500 copies.</p><p>Although this represented a week-on-week uplift of 67.7%, the seven-day sales figure is the lowest of any R&amp;J Summer Read during the week it went under the spotlight, and 25.5% lower than the next poorest performer&sbquo; George Hagen&#39;s <em>The Laments</em> (Hodder), which sold 4,512 copies during its discussion week in July 2005.</p><p>Sales of the eight 2009 Summer Reads titles so far equal just over 134,000 copies&sbquo; down 68% on sales of last year&#39;s selections over the comparative period. By value, this equates to a like-for-like loss of &pound;1.5m at retailers&#39; tills.</p><p>With a sale of 44,182 copies over the past three weeks, Dave Boling&#39;s<em> Guernica </em>(Picador) is the early sales leader in 2009, with Julian Fellowes&#39;<em> Past Imperfect</em> (Phoenix), the first book to go under discussion, totalling 36,709 across all editions.</p>