| By Philip Stone
Earlier this week I began a light-hearted look at the most common nouns that appear in the titles of bestselling novels—but my research turned into something a little more unsettling.
While I can reveal that “secret”, “day”, “time”, and “house” are among the nouns that have become your biggest bankers, it saddens me to report that, where novels are concerned at least, men are “men” but women are “girls”.
Fact One: Of the top 1,000 bestselling adult novels of 2013 with titles that contain male gender terms (and by this I mean specifically “man” or “men” and “boy” or “boys”) 93% contain “man” or “men” with just 7% containing “boy(s)”. Whereas, of the bestselling novels with titles that contain female gender terms, we see just 19% containing the adult “woman”/”women” but an overwhelming 81% containing “girl(s)”.
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| By Philip Stone
Terry Pratchett’s Snuff (Doubleday) has become one of the fastest-selling novels since records began, shifting 54,687 copies at UK book retail outlets in its three days on sale last week.
Helped by extensive pre-orders and a £5 deal at Tesco, Pratchett’s 39th Discworld novel has the biggest opening week sale from a hardback adult-audience novel since Transworld stablemate Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol (Bantam Press) in 2009. Along with Brown, only one other novel has sold more copies in its first week on shelves since records began: Thomas Harris’ Hannibal (Heinemann) sold 58,300 copies in four days after its release in June 1999.
Transworld managing director Larry Finlay said: “[Pratchett] is now firmly established as one of the nation’s most important and widely read authors, with so much to say about the world in which we live. I couldn’t be more delighted that with Snuff, Terry now joins a very select band of record-breakers.”
|By Philip Stone
Walter Isaacson’s biography of the late Steve Jobs has become one of the fastest-selling hardback non-fiction books since records began.
Brought forward from its original publication date of 24th November following the Apple co-founder’s death on 5th October, Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography (Little, Brown) sold 37,645 copies in its first week on bookshop shelves. Only four hardback biographies/memoirs have sold more in their opening week since Nielsen BookScan records began in 1998.
The biography comfortably tops this week’s Official UK Top 50, ahead of Guinness World Records and James Patterson and Howard Roughan’s Don’t Blink (Arrow), which sold 21,643 copies and 20,242 copies respectively.
More than 50 hardback novels officially hit bookshop shelves last week, with five of them earning a place in this week’s Official UK Top 50 on part-week sales alone. John Grisham’s latest thriller, The Litigators, was the pick of the bunch. The book, his first adult novel published by Hodder following his switch from Cornerstone earlier this year, sold 12,962 copies in its first five days on sale last week, and takes eighth place in this week’s Official UK Top 50.
| Philip Stone
Sales of the six novels in contention for the 2011 Man Booker Prize have totalled 37,500 copies across all print editions since the shortlist was announced, making it the most popular Booker shortlist since records began.
Sales of the novels are up 127% year-on-year and up 105% on the previous record (2009), and have been helped by the fact that, unusually, two of this year’s six nominated novels (A D Miller’s Snowdrops and Carol Birch’s Jamrach’s Menagerie) are already available to buy in a mass-market format.
In addition, with the most expensive shortlisted titles costing just £12.99, all six novels can currently be purchased at UK booksellers for a total of £65.94—down 36% (or £37) on 2010’s selections.
04.08.11 | Philip Stone
Man Booker Prize bookies favourite Alan Hollinghurst is proving the most popular of the longlisted titles among the book buying public.
The British novelist’s The Stranger’s Child (Picador) was comfortably the bestselling Booker longlistee in the week the longlist was announced (ending 30th July), selling 2,143 copies across all print editions. Sebastian Barry’s On Canaan’s Side (Faber) and Stephen Kelman’s Pigeon English (Bloomsbury) were the only other titles nominated for the £50,000 prize to sell more than 500 copies last week.
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| Philip Stone
Sophie Kinsella’s sixth Shopaholic instalment, Mini Shopaholic (Black Swan), was comfortably the bestselling book in the UK last week, earning the novelist her ninth Official UK Top 50 number one.
The mass-market novel sold 37,523 copies in its first full week in bookshops and earns publisher Transworld its eighth Official UK Top 50 number one of the year. Only Penguin has scored more, notching up nine so far this year. Last week’s number one, Dawn French’s A Tiny Bit Marvellous (Penguin) falls one place to second spot, while Kathy Reichs’ Spider Bones (Arrow) holds firm in third position.
Paul Christopher’s The Templar Cross (Penguin), the second book in his Templar series, débuts as the highest new entry in 23rd place.
| By Philip Stone
Dawn French has retained her position at the summit of the Official UK Top 50 for a third week.
The mass-market edition of French’s début novel, A Tiny Bit Marvellous (Penguin), sold 34,100 copies at UK booksellers in the seven days to 9th July—down 24% on the previous week, but some 13,055 copies more than the next bestselling book, Lesley Pearse’s Belle (also Penguin). Karin Slaughter’s Broken (Arrow) falls one place into third position overall.
Kathy Reichs’ 13th Tempe Brennan thriller joins the Official UK Top 50 in fifth place having undergone a name change. Released as Mortal Remains in hardback last year, the mass-market edition carries the new name, Spider Bones (Arrow), which keeps it in line with Reichs’ previous five Brennan thrillers which all contained the word “Bones” in their titles.
By Philip Stone
Fiona Goble’s 64-page Knit Your Own Royal Wedding (Ivy Press), which comes with a backdrop of Westminster Abbey “so that you can display your creations in authentic surroundings”, is the current sales leader in the incredibly competitive Royal Wedding sales race.