Wimpy Kid tops charts in strong week for booksellers

Wimpy Kid tops charts in strong week for booksellers

Jeff Kinney's seventh Diary of a Wimpy Kid novel, The Third Wheel (Puffin), has become one of the fastest-selling children's books since official sales records began.

The hardback children's title, which recounts Greg Heffley's attempts to secure a date for his school's Valentine's Day dance, sold 91,268 copies at UK booksellers in the seven days to 17th November.

It is Penguin Children's Books' biggest weekly sale since records began in 1998, and the biggest sale from a children's book in almost two and a half years—since Stephenie Meyer's The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (Atom) sold 136,995 copies in its first week on shelves in June 2010.

Only J K Rowling's The Casual Vacancy (Little, Brown) has sold more copies in its first week on shelves in 2012.

The Third Wheel jumps straight into pole position in this week's Official UK Top 50. Last week's number one, Penguin stablemate Jamie Oliver's Jamie's 15-minute Meals (Michael Joseph), falls one place to second position week on week, while Guinness World Records 2013 (Guinness) retains third spot in the chart.

Ian Rankin’s Rebus novel, Standing in Another Man’s Grave (Orion), was once again the bestselling hardback novel for adult audiences of the week, scoring sales of 14,530 copies. Michael Connelly’s 17th Harry Bosch thriller, The Drop (Orion), was the bestselling paperback novel of the week and takes top spot in this week’s Mass-market Fiction bestseller list. It means publisher Orion has become the third publisher, after Transworld and Cornerstone, to achieve double Original Fiction/Mass-market Fiction number ones in 2012.

Grandmother Hilary Boyd’s tale of 60-something romance, Thursdays in the Park (Quercus), is another big mover this week. It débuts in sixth position in this week’s Fiction Heatseekers chart courtesy of a 2,342% week on week sales boost. The “gran lit” novel has received much press coverage of late due to its rise to the summit of the Amazon.co.uk Kindle bestseller list—thanks largely to its cheap 20p selling price.

Sales of Wade Davis’ Into the Silence (Vintage), meanwhile, jumped 640% week on week last week courtesy of its Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-fiction win. It joins the Top 20 Paperback Non-fiction chart in ninth place. Last year’s winner, Frank Dikkötter’s Mao’s Great Famine (Bloomsbury), sold more than 10,000 copies in the month following its win.

In total, £34.4m was spent on printed books at UK booksellers in the seven days to 17th November. Sales were up 9.2% week on week, but down 3.2% on the same week last year.