Philippa Gregory grabs top spot

Philippa Gregory grabs top spot

Philippa Gregory and her publisher Simon & Schuster have scored their first Official UK Top 50 number one in almost two years.

The mass-market edition of Gregory's fourth Cousins' War novel, The Kingmaker's Daughter, was the bestselling book in the UK last week, Nielsen BookScan data reveals, selling 19,871 copies in seven days.

Gregory's novel leapfrogs this year's crop of £1 World Book Day titles to take pole position in the Official UK Top 50—the first time she and Simon & Schuster have topped the chart since April 2011 when the second novel in the same series, The Red Queen, secured top spot. Just shy of £7.5m has been spent on books in Gregory's Cousins' War series since the first, The White Queen, was published in 2009.

Last week's chart-topper, Liz Pichon's Tom Gates: Best Book Day Ever (Scholastic), falls one place to second position overall, while Giles Andreae's Giraffes Can't Dance (Orchard) holds third position week on week. In total, the eight £1 World Book Day publications sold 124,276 copies in the UK last week, bringing their total sales for the year to 745,316 copies—up 5% on last year's titles by the comparative point and up a massive 50% on sales of 2011's World Book Day "flip-books".

Jeffrey Archer's Clifton Chronicle, Best Kept Secret (Macmillan), proved the bestselling hardback novel in the UK for a second week. The £20 publication, which retailed for just £10.29 on average last week, sold 8,158 copies in the UK last week—some 3,668 more than his nearest rival, Kate Atkinson's Life After Life (Doubleday). The latter's r.r.p. is £1.01 cheaper than Archer's novel, but sold for £2.96 more on average in the UK last week (£13.26).

"Great British Bake Off" judge Paul Hollywood's Bread (Bloomsbury) proved the bestselling hardback non-fiction book in the UK last week, with a sale of 10,103 copies. It takes top spot in this week's Hardback Non-fiction chart ahead of the Hairy Bikers' Great Curries (Weidenfeld), scoring Hollywood his first-ever hardback non-fiction number one and publisher Bloomsbury's first since Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage Veg Every Day! topped the list in January last year.

Two new entries grace the Hardback Non-fiction chart this week: Phyllida Law's account of her mother's descent into dementia, How Many Camels are There in Holland? (Fourth Estate) and a £35 "deluxe edition" of David Bowie Is… (V&A)—the official companion to the Victoria and Albert Museum's exhibition of the same name which has become the V&A's fastest-selling exhibition of all time.

Following his death on 20th March, James Herbert's Ash (Pan) saw its sales jump by 88% week on week. The mass-market publication sold 16,408 copies in the UK last week and takes sixth position in the Official UK Top 50 and third position, behind Gregory's The Kingmaker's Daughter and Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl (Phoenix), in this week's Top 20 Mass-market Fiction bestseller list. In total, Herbert has been worth just over £10m to booksellers since official sales records began in 1998.

Despite the recent cold snap affecting many parts of the UK, printed book sales actually increased slightly in the UK last week—by 1.2%, or £270,000, to £22.1m. Sales were up marginally on the same week last year—by 0.2%, or £40,000.