Mother's Day: consumers back alcohol, romance and cookery books

Mother's Day: consumers back alcohol, romance and cookery books

Books about alcohol, romance and cooking are among those winning the consumers’ buck for Mother’s Day gifts in the run up to the event on Sunday (11th March).

Gill Sims’ Why Mummy Drinks (HarperCollins) is leading the way with 2,506 copies sold through Nielsen BookScan last week, ranking fourth in Original Fiction top 20, followed by Rosie Goodwin’s tale of a pious young woman who escapes the world of her unsavoury and bullying father to train to be a nun, but who gets distracted by Father Luke, in A Mother’s Grace (Bonnier Zaffre), which has sold 2,184 copies, ranking seventh in the original fiction chart.

Pam Weaver’s Mother’s Day (Avon), set post Second World War and centring on a newly-married and pregnant woman who discovers her husband is bigamous, shifted 1,760 copies through the tills last week, ranking ninth in the Original Fiction ranking. Meanwhile, Maggie Sullivan’s Mother’s Day on Coronation Street, another set during the Second World War while the Street’s husbands are away fighting for their country and and the American GI’s are in town, sold 1,337 copies.

In cookery, Mary Berry’s Classic (BBC Books) saw a big leap, selling 7,144 copies last week—36% up on the week before, while The Unmumsy Mum Diary (Corgi) entered the Paperback Non-Fiction chart in 10th position. Peppa Pig: I Love You, Mummy Pig (Ladybird) also made the Pre School top 20, in fifth, up six places on the week before.

Publishers and bookshops have been tailoring their promotions and events towards the big gifting day.

HarperCollins has created a competition to promote Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon (Borough Press) with a prize of a Champney’s spa voucher and a floral bouquet, with flower delivery company AppleYard London. The company is also promoting Mother’s Day on Coronation Street by Maggie Sullivan, published 8th February, and Mother’s Sacrifice by Gemma Metcalfe, which was released on 9th March. 

Pan Macmillan is rolling out a campaign around two of Danielle Steel’s recent releases. Fall from Grace was published on 8th February while the paperback of Against All Odds came out on 22nd February, with both titles featuring “mother and daughter relationships with a compelling storyline”.

Both titles will be promoted to readers shopping for Mother's Day gifts with digital six-sheet posters placed in “strategically chosen” shopping centres around the country.  The communications team is also running substantial Facebook campaigns based on the same creative for both titles in the run up to the day itself. The publisher will also email “a warm Mother's Day message” to all Steel's existing and potentially new media fans with a view to extensive year round coverage.

Reading charity BookTrust has also devised a list of recommended reads for children celebrating Mother’s Day including picturebooks SuperHero Mum (Nosy Crow) by Timothy Knapman with illustratons by Joe Berger and Sometimes (Templar) by Emma Dodd.

Waterstones staff have created individual book and gift displays for each store individually, offering a mix of books, gifts and Mother’s Day cards. It has also provided an online gift guide for the “up-‘til-midnight thriller fan, an avid non-fiction addict or simply impossible to buy for”. Suggestions include Imogen Hermes Gowar's recent debut hit The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock (Vintage), a thriller from A J Finn, The Woman in the Window (HarperCollins) and cookbook Classic by Mary Berry (BBC Books).

Page Turners, the Women’s Fiction initiative from Penguin Random House, is running a themed competition to win a prize bundle of books, candles, chocolate with a £150 voucher to go towards a creative workshop in partnership with Wax Lyrical, Hotel Chocolat and Craft Courses UK, ending midnight on Thursday (8th March).

Penguin has also created a ‘Gifts for Mum’ page on its website featuring the most recent Baileys winner The Power (Viking) by Naomi Alderman and medieval mystery The Western Wind by Samantha Harvey (Jonathan Cape).

Drake - the Bookshop

Meanwhile Afro-Caribbean bookshop New Beacon Books, which staved off closure last year, has promoted its themed handmade gift boxes and books on Twitter, to celebrate Mother’s Day.

Drake - the Bookshop in Stockton is highlighting 'hand picked books' for Mother's Day gifts such as Poems That Make Grown Up Women Cry (Simon & Schuster UK) by Anthony Holden and Ben Holden, with a fair trade coffee morning on Saturday (10th March) which co-owner Richard Drake is inviting mothers and children along to.