David Walliams has extended his run at number one in the bestseller charts for the third straight week, seeing off the competition in a Super Thursday week where total sales were marginally down year on year, but there were standout performances from Roy Keane and Martina Cole.
Last week, Walliams' Awful Auntie (HarperCollins) sold 42,058 units through Nielsen BookScan's Total Consumer Market, topping the Official Top 50 by some 21,000 units. Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl (Phoenix, 21,070 units sold) was next, edging out former Manchester United hard-man Keane's memoir The Second Half (Weidenfeld) to second place by a mere six copies. However, Gone Girl's original and film-tie in versions combined to sell 39,310 copies last week.
Walliams' Awful Auntie has shifted 151,573 copies for £683,495 since it was published on 25th September and in three weeks is already the sixth bestselling hardback of the year by print volume.
Awful Auntie's success points to a solid, if unspectacular, Super Thursday for UK booksellers, with print sales at £30.97m, a marginal rise (0.3%) week on week. Yet, this is a slight decline (-0.8%) on the 2013 Super Thursday week, which was topped by Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy (Cape) with almost 48,000 copies sold.
Yet Super Thursday titles shone at the top. Ten of the top 15 books on this week's chart were released on Super Thursday, and 17 of the top 50. Last week the Top 50 books generated 458,812 in unit sales, the previous week it was 407,812, an 11.4% rise week on week.
Keane's memoir, written with Booker winner Roddy Doyle, tops the Hardback Non-Fiction chart, boosted by blanket media coverage and a juicy Daily Mirror serial in which the model sportsman revealed he once head-butted teammate Peter Schmeichel during a pre-season tour of Asia and rubbished former friends Rio Ferdinand and Gary Neville.
Keane's book edges out the other controversial, settling-scores sports autobiography of the week, cricketer Kevin Pietersen's KP (Sphere, 19,343 units), which dishes the dirt on his fall-out with the England team. Lynda Bellingham's There's Something I've Been Dying to Tell You (Coronet) is third in HB NF, selling an excellent 12,692 copies in the week she filmed an emotional last "Loose Women" episode, revealing she would end the treatment for her terminal cancer and had weeks to live.
Overall, nine of the top 20 in Hardback Non-Fiction are Super Thursday books, including high profile titles John Cleese's So Anyway… (Random House, 6,351 units), comedian Kevin Bridges' We Need to Talk About…Kevin Bridges (Michael Joseph, 3,504) and former Sex Pistols frontman/Country Life Butter pitchman John Lydon's Anger is the Energy (Simon & Schuster, 3,327).
In the Original Fiction chart, Martina Cole continues an enviable run. Her Super Thursday release, The Good Life (Headline), displaced David Nicholls' Us (Hodder) at number one, shifting 13,067 copies. More impressively, this is her 13th straight book to hit the Original Fiction number one and the 59th week she has sat atop the chart. No author has spent more time on The Bookseller's Original Fiction chart; James Patterson and his co-writers are second at 53 weeks.