World Book Day titles triumph; Berry cooks up a storm

World Book Day titles triumph; Berry cooks up a storm

World Book Day titles dominated the top of last week's UK Official Top 50, nabbing the first eight spots, and with all 10 WBD books in the top 12.  

David Melling's Hello Hugless Douglas (Hodder Children's) claimed the top spot with sales of 47,130 copies, down 17% on last year's top selling title in WBD week, Francesca Simon's Horrid Henry's Guide to Perfect Parents (Orion), which sold 56,868 units. 

Comparisons between the sales performance of both titles are mitigated by the age ranges both titles are aimed at; Melling's Hugless picture book series does not have the same reach across reading ages as Simon's Horrid Henry has.   

James Patterson's Middle School: How I Got Lost in London (Arrow) took second place with sales of 39,273 units. Total sales of the thriller writer's well received children's series (including this WBD special) are now in excess of 240,000 copies across all editions. The latest in the series, Ultimate Showdown, will be published in hardcover in May.

WBD sales were up 4% year on year, courtesy of two additional titles, aimed at young adults. Both of these titles, Maureen Johnson's Boy in the Smoke (Hot Key, 18,466 copies) and Robert Muchamore's The Audition (Hodder Children's, 17,871 copies) charted outside the top 10, at 11th and 12th respectively. Comparing the WBD 2014 top eight with the eight from 2013, sales actually fell 7%. The average sale of the WBD titles also declined year on year—35,493 units for the 10 titles in 2014 compared to 39,746 in 2013.   

Were it not for the World Book Day juggernaut, Mary Berry would have scored her first UK Top 50 number one.  Mary Berry Cooks (BBC) sold 23,001 copies, a volume increase of 286% week on week. The BBC2 series has been extremely well received by television critics and there are four episodes remaining.  

Last week's number one, Sophie Kinsella's Wedding Night (Black Swan) fell to number 10, but with 19,842 copies sold, was actually up a robust 16% week on week. Kinsella maintained her position at number one on the mass market fiction paperback chart as did Jojo Moyes in the original fiction chart selling 3,177 units of The One Plus One (Penguin). The Oscars' hangover effect was felt in the Non-Fiction paperback chart with Twelve Years a Slave (William Collins) climbing one place to number one. Combined sales of the two editions inside the top 20 were 11,411and up 12% on the previous week.

J K Rowling's Galbraith novel The Cuckoo's Calling (Sphere) continued its downward trajectory. Removing the WBD titles, the paperback would now be out of the Top 10 after three weeks. Sales declined 28% week on week to 10,523 copies and placing the mass market paperback at number 21. Kate Atkinson's Life After Life (Black Swan) also declined week on week, down 19% and selling 13,742 copies but all of the new titles, which charted in the Top 10 last week all saw substantial sales increases. Harlan Coben's Six Years (Orion), Philippa Gregory's White Princess (Simon & Schuster), and Rachel Joyce's Perfect (Black Swan) all enjoyed increases of above 26%.