World Book Day books top charts but sales are down

World Book Day books top charts but sales are down

Sales of the six £1 World Book Day books fell 36% week-on-week, to 159,000 copies sold—a figure down 9% on the comparative week last year—but they nonetheless continue to dominate the sharp end of this week’s Official UK Top 50.

Andrew Cope and Katie Davies’ Spy Dog/Great Pet-shop Panic (Simon & Schuster), the flip-book aimed for the seven-plus age range, was narrowly the most popular purchase/exchange last week, with total sales of 31,685 copies. Dr Seuss’ Sr Seuss on the Loose (HarperCollins) takes second position overall with sales of 30,606 copies, while A A Milne and Betty Birney’s Winnie-the-Pooh/Humphrey’s Tiny Tales (Egmont/Faber) takes third place with sales of 30,092.

Two mass-market novels prevent the World Book Day titles from locking out the top six positions this week. Ian McEwan’s 11th novel, Solar (Vintage), rockets into fifth position thanks to a spot in WHSmith’s “£2.99 if you buy the Times” link-save promotion, while John Grisham’s first YA novel, Theodore Boone (Hodder) climbs into seventh place. The former takes top spot in this week’s mass-market fiction chart, giving McEwan his first number one since On Chesil Beach achieved the feat in January 2008—a book that spent four weeks atop the mass-market list.

Chris Ryan’s The Kill Zone, one of the first books to appear on Hodder’s resurrected imprint Coronet’s launch list last year, is this week’s highest new entry thanks to a W H Smith half-price book-of-the-week boost, while Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen’s Wonders of the Universe (Collins), a tie-in to the popular BBC2 series of the same name, débuts in 25th position thanks in part to a similar promotion at Waterstone’s.

According to Nielsen BookScan data, £25.7m was spent at UK booksellers during the seven days to 12th March—down 15.6% on the same week last year due to the fact Mother's Day fell on 14th March in 2010.