After three weeks of declines at the start of 2015, the print book market has bounced back, with sales up 3.5% week-on-week and tills ringing in £23.2m across 2.9m book sales.
In the seven days ending 24th January, sales jumped 3.5% with book buyers spending just over £794,000 more last week than they did the previous week (w/e 17th January) and £1.2m more than they did in the same week last year.
Last week's robust print sales and an excellent first week of the year has meant that 2015 is off to a very promising start with £94.6m registering through the tills, up 3.8% on the same four week period in 2014, equating to an extra £3.4m for booksellers.
Jessie Burton leads 10 strong titles at the top of the UK Top 50. The Miniaturist (Picador) remains at number one for a fourth week with 17,873 copies, down 17% in volume week to week but 2,245 copies more than last year's chart-topper in the same week, Peter Robinson's Children of the Revolution (Hodder, 15,628 copies). The average selling price (ASP) of Burton's debut was also substantially higher at £5.19 compared with £3.83 for Children… last year.
The continued success of Burton's debut can be celebrated in conjunction with another as Paula Hawkin's runaway hit The Girl on the Train (Doubleday) nabs the Original Fiction top spot with a 2,532 copy sales surge week to week, selling 6,748 copies in total. Hawkins has now sold 11,072 copies in three weeks.
This means that debuts written by female authors occupy pole position in both Fiction charts and the Children's chart as Zoe Sugg's Girl Online (Penguin) remains at number one for a seventh non-consecutive week on that chart. Sugg's debut has showed surprising stamina since its release and first week blockbuster sales back in November. YA fans seem not to have taken much notice of the ghostwriting controversy; Sugg’s novel slips one place to number 10 on the UK Top 50 chart, but has spent its nine-week chart run in the coveted Top 10 chart, selling 278,350 copies to date.
There were further successes for female writers last week. Following rave reviews of its television adaptation, Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall (Fourth Estate) also surged. The standalone "tie-in" edition climbed nine places and into the Top 10 on the Mass Market Paperback Fiction chart selling 7,055 copies but combined with the 2010 paperback version, the novel sold 9,000 copies last week, up 51% week on week across both editions.
Ahead of its Costa win last night, H is for Hawk (J Cape) climbed three places and back into the Hardback Non-fiction Top five at number three selling 1,997 copies.
With a full seven days of sales behind it, The Son (Vintage) - Jo Nesbo's standalone thriller – climbed one place to number two on the Top 50 and Mass Market paperback Fiction chart, dislodging Emma Healey's Elizabeth is Missing (Penguin), which trades places with Nesbo, falling to three after a fortnight stalling behind Burton's bestseller. The Son sold 17,510 copies last week, up 36%.
Chris Kyle's American Sniper (HarperCollins) climbs one place to number one on the Non Fiction Paperback Chart following much media debate and a successful cinema opening in the UK. The deceased Navy SEAL's memoir was joined by a second this week offering another perspective on the "war on terror". Guantanamo Diary (Canongate), written by Mohamedo Ould Slahi-a current detainee at the US military prison-has been published following years of legal wrangling to get the manuscript published. It sold 927 copies in its first week.