Wednesday, September 19, 2007

McEwan tie-in breaks record

Philip Stone writing in The Bookseller, 18 September reports as follows:

Ian McEwan has knocked Jamie Oliver off the top of the UK bestseller charts. The film tie-in edition of Atonement (Vintage) sold 53,357 copies through Nielsen BookScan last week, giving the author his first ever overall number one bestseller. That's despite Jamie at Home (Michael Joseph) selling nearly 44,000 copies, some 5,500 more than the previous week when it was in top spot.

McEwan's feat represents the biggest sales week for any title in the traditionally quiet month of September, beating week sales of Alice Sebold's Lovely Bones, Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code and Victoria Hislop's The Island in the past.

The achievement was driven by W H Smith and Waterstone's, both of which placed Atonement in half-price Book-of-the-Week promotions, while Amazon was also selling it at 50% discount. The average selling price was a low £4.64. Total sales of the novel in all editions to date are 777,931 copies, while sales of his Booker-shortlisted On Chesil Beach (Cape) are over the 100,000 barrier.

Good sales of Nigella Express (Chatto) and Ian Rankin's Exit Music (Orion), saw the a.s.p. jump to its highest point (£7.55) since January, bar Harry Potter week.

Total book sales last week stood at 4,229,386, 653 copies down on the previous week, but due to some big sales of big hardbacks by big authors, revenue increased by nearly £850,000 week-on-week.

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