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August 1, 2013

Authors say they prefer books in print

Filed under: Authors — Tags: , , , , , , — Bookblurb @ 10:14 am
Alain de Botton prefers the real thing

Alain de Botton prefers the real thing

By Louise Gray

A year ago Amazon reported its Kindle e-books were outstripping its sale of printed books.

But reading lists this year show that most authors prefer a proper, old-fashioned book to touch screens.

Writers prefer a well-stuffed bookshelf to one slim tablet, and they admire a well-illustrated book over a touch-screen.

Alain de Botton the philosopher said he dumped e-books when he realised the information didn’t sink in without physical contact with a real book.

”I’m a recent apostate from e-books. I found whatever I read on my Kindle, I couldn’t remember in the long term. It was as if I’d never read it,” he said.

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June 27, 2013

Boys to Men

Nouns in Book Titles1 | 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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December 12, 2011

Cheap classics boom as rest of book trade struggles

Robert Redford in the 1974 film of The Great Gatsby. Photograph: Ronald Grant Archive

While recession bites elsewhere, sales of Wordsworth Editions’ £1.99 classics have surged.

By Alison Flood

As the winds of recession sweep across the UK, a story of the decadent rich in New York has beaten the gloom, with a £1.99 edition of The Great Gatsby selling 232% more than last year.

Elsewhere, publishers are feeling the squeeze, with spending on printed novels down 10%, or £35m, on 2010. But sales in cheap classics are booming, with Wordsworth Editions, which publishes around 200 works of classic fiction for £1.99 apiece, up 10.9% so far this year, with its fiction in particular surging by 18%.

“I think the big reason has to be recessionary,” said Philip Stone, charts editor of the Bookseller. “Publishers of more expensive classics such as Penguin, Oxford University Press and Oneworld haven’t enjoyed that kind of growth from their classics this year.”

Stone pointed to the £1.99 Wordsworth edition of The Great Gatsby, up by 232% year-on-year to 11,550 copies sold, and to the £1.99 Wordsworth edition of Jane Eyre, up by 59.5% year-on-year. Penguin’s £7.99 edition of the F Scott Fitzgerald classic saw sales growth of 15.4% to 3,328 copies in comparison, according to book sales monitor Nielsen BookScan.

Derek Wright, director at Wordsworth, said the publisher’s overall sales have doubled over the last five years to reach £1.3m in the year to end-May 2011, and are on course to be “even better” this year, already at almost £900,000 in the six months since.

“Historically, our classics thrive in recessions. The £1 classic paperback came out in 1992 when the country was in its third year of recession. This was long before I worked for Wordsworth, and I can remember it well, because suddenly there were these big displays in the high-street chains like John Menzies, and I bought them by the dozen,” he said. more

November 10, 2011

Cole becomes 15th member of £50m club

Filed under: Authors — Tags: , , , , , — Bookblurb @ 4:43 pm

Martina Cole

| By Philip Stone and Charlotte Williams

Martina Cole has become the first British female adult-audience novelist to surpass the £50m sales mark since records began.

Thanks to the solid sales of her 18th thriller, The Faithless (Headline), which hit shelves last month, the amount spent on physical editions of her books since records began in 1998 now stands at £50.3m according to BookScan.

Cole joins an elite group of just 15 other writers who are members of the £50m-plus club, of which only seven are writers of novels for adult audiences. Of those seven, just two, Terry Pratchett and J R R Tolkien, are British.

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November 4, 2011

Pratchett’s Snuff snaffles top spot with ease

Buy this

| 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.”

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November 3, 2011

Jobs biography tops bestseller lists

Filed under: Retail — Tags: , , , , , — Bookblurb @ 5:10 am


Steve Jobs

|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.

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September 24, 2011

2011 Man Booker shortlist most popular ever

Filed under: Retail — Tags: , , , , , , , — Bookblurb @ 5:39 am

Buy this

| 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.

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August 29, 2011

Barnes biggest Booker book

Buy this

| By Philip Stone

Julian Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending (Cape) is comfortably the bestselling longlistee of one of the most popular Man Booker longlists since records began.

Barnes’ concise novel has sold 9,700 copies at UK booksellers since the longlist was announced on 26th July, almost double the number of the next most popular longlistee, Alan Hollinghurst’s The Stranger’s Child (Picador).

Sebastian Barry’s On Canaan’s Side (Faber) is the third most popular longlistee in print sales terms, while D J Taylor’s Derby Day (Chatto) has proved the least popular purchase with sales of 762 copies over the period, despite being one of the bookies’ favourites.

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August 26, 2011

One Day sells 60,000 copies in seven

Buy this

| By Philip Stone

David Nicholls’ One Day (Hodder), the adaptation of which hits cinemas later this week, was comfortably the bestselling book at UK booksellers last week.

The novel, first published in 2009, sold 60,410 copies across all printed editions at UK booksellers last week, outselling the next most popular book, Lee Child’s Worth Dying For (Bantam) by more than two copies to one.

The original February 2010-published mass-market edition tops The Bookseller‘s Official UK Top 50 this week with a 32,357 seven-day sale, while the new film tie-in edition takes second place on a sale of 27,780. It is the first time two editions of the same book have topped the charts since August 2007 when the adult and children’s editions of J K Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Bloomsbury) took positions one and two in the charts.

It is the third time One Day has topped The Bookseller‘s Mass-market Fiction bestseller list, having crowned the chart in February and December last year. more

August 11, 2011

Child’s play for Lee as he tops charts

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Bookblurb @ 6:42 am


Click to buy

| By Philip Stone

Lee Child’s 15th Jack Reacher thriller, Worth Dying For (Bantam), was the bestselling book in the UK last week, scoring impressive sales of 32,275 copies in just three days upon its release on Thursday.

The mass-market novel, which sold 125,000 copies in hardback, takes top spot in the Official UK Top 50 helped by a better-than-half-price offer at Waterstone’s and a spot in W H Smith’s half-price “book of the week” promotion. Transworld stablemate Sophie Kinsella’s Mini Shopaholic (Black Swan) takes second position overall, ahead of Dawn French’s A Tiny Bit Marvellous (Penguin).

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