Grandpa’s Great Escape (HarperCollins Children’s Books) has become David Walliams’ third straight book to hit the UK Official Number One in its first week of sale, while also earning its author his 50th Children’s chart-topper.
Walliams’ and illustrator Tony Ross’ book sold 51,306 units last week through Nielsen BookScan’s Total Consumer Market, outselling the previous week’s number one, Jamie Oliver’s Everyday Super Food (Michael Joseph), by a two-to-one volume ratio. This is Walliams’ second-best seven-day total, only eclipsed by Awful Auntie’s (HarperCollins Children’s Books) 52,750 copies sold in its second week on sale in October 2014. Grandpa’s Great Escape is 7% up on Awful Auntie’s first week of sale in 2014, which bodes well for Walliams: his release last autumn recorded six consecutive weeks as the UK number one.
With a unit-sale of 25,269, Oliver did retain the Hardback Non-Fiction number one for the fifth consecutive week and Everyday Super Food was tops last week in value stakes, earning £332,075 to Grandpa’s Great Escape’s £313,641. Lee Child also extended a run at the top: Make Me (Bantam) sold 14,266 copies for its third straight Original Fiction pole position. In Paperback Non-Fiction, Millie Marotta ruled again: Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom (Batsford) sold 8,586 copies for its ninth consecutive and 17th non-consecutive week at the top.
Meanwhile, Dinah Jeffries recorded her first time at the Mass Market Fiction summit with her W H Smith/Richard & Judy Book Club-boosted The Tea Planter’s Wife (Penguin, 11,345 copies), narrowly beating out C J Sansom’s Lamentation (Pan, 11,221) in its first week of paperback release. The previous week’s Mass-Market number one and also an WHS/R&J title, S K Tremayne’s The Ice Twins (Harper, 10,670), slipped to fourth.
Two high-profile sport books débuted last week and, as was most often the case on the football pitch, Steven Gerrard was beaten by Sir Alex Ferguson. Former Manchester United boss Ferguson’s memoir cum business title, Leading (Hodder), sold 23,419 units for third place overall, while Liverpool great Gerrard’s My Story (Penguin) was in fourth on a 16,780-copy sale.
The Walliams, Ferguson and Gerrard books were part of a whole tranche of new titles released on 24th September, a sort of “mini-Super Thursday”, with a slew of new titles débuting in the charts. Original Fiction had six new entries in the its top 20, led by Wilbur Smith’s and Giles Krystian’s Golden Lion (9,212 copies)—the first of Smith’s books to be co-written—and Jojo Moyes’ much-anticipated After You (Michael Joseph, 7,907).
The Hardback Non-Fiction chart had eight new entries in its top 20 with the latest YouTube sensation trailing just behind Ferguson and Gerrard. KSI’s I am a Bell-End (Orion) sold 6,311 copies, good enough for 5th place in Hardback Non-Fiction and 23rd overall. KSI is the nom de vidéo of 22 year-old Watford-born Olajide Olatunji who has 10.5 million subscribers to his video game-themed vlog.
One of last week’s début books proved there is no such thing as bad publicity. Former Smith’s frontman and miserabilist Morrissey’s wildly-derided, critically-panned List of the Lost (Penguin) sold 3,387 in mass market paperback, hitting 50th place in its first week. Still, that is a far cry from the first-week performance of Morrissey’s Autobiography (Penguin Classics), which hit the overall number one on sales of almost 35,000 units in October 2013.