September sales hit 2010 high, but slump on 2009

September sales hit 2010 high, but slump on 2009

<p>Spending at UK booksellers reached a 2010 high in the month of September but were nonetheless down on a strong 2009 when Dan Brown&rsquo;s<em> The Lost Symbol </em>smashed records upon hitting the shelves in hardback.<br /><br />According to Nielsen BookScan, book sales in September were down 3.2% year-on-year in value terms, according to industry statisticians Nielsen BookScan. In BookScan&#39;s Total Consumer Market panel of some 6,500 book retail outlets, spending at UK booksellers totalled &pound;132.2m during the four weeks to 2nd October, while volume sales were down 2.5% to 16.5m. Average selling prices were down 0.7% (six pence) to &pound;8.03.<br /><br />Despite till takings in the month of September being the highest of the year so far, sales were down on a strong 2009 when Dan Brown&#39;s <em>The Lost Symbol</em> (Bantam Press) hit the shelves in hardback and sold a massive 805,000 copies (taking &pound;6.9m through the tills) in under three weeks. Strip that unique title out of the data and sales in September 2010 would be up 2% year-on-year in value terms.<br /><br />Bestsellers in the month of September this year include Lee Child&#39;s <em>61 Hours</em> (119,608 copies sold), Stieg Larsson&#39;s Millennium trilogy (269,000 combined), Jilly Cooper&#39;s <em>Jump!</em> (49,500), Tony Blair&#39;s <em>A Journey</em> (110,000), Stephen Fry&#39;s <em>The Fry Chronicles</em> (84,700) and Elizabeth Gilbert&#39;s <em>Eat, Pray, Love</em> (93,900).<br /><br />Due to the success of Rhonda Byrne&#39;s <em>The Power</em>, the follow-up to her bestselling <em>The Secret</em>, sales through BookScan&#39;s &quot;mind, body, spirit&quot; category were up year on year, while the politics sector&#39;s sales were boosted by the release of Keith Jeffery&#39;s <em>MI6</em> (Bloomsbury).<br /><br />Meanwhile, thanks to new titles from Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson, food and drink sales were also ahead of last year. Children&#39;s and young adult fiction sales were also strong thanks to bestsellers from the likes of Terry Pratchett, Stephenie Meyer, Derek Landy, Jeff Kinney and Robert Muchamore.<br /><br />Conversely, and according to a similar analysis of BookScan&#39;s Top 5,000 bestseller list over the four-week period, crime sales were well down on last year (due to Brown), as was spending within the reference, self-improvement, travel and school textbooks/study guides sectors.<br /><br />September&#39;s slump comes after two consecutive months of positive growth as sales were up marginally in both July (up 0.1% to &pound;121.2m) and August (up 0.4% to &pound;117.1m). Total spending in 2010 thus far now stands at &pound;1.129bn &mdash; down 3.6% (&pound;42.1m) year on year.</p>