Friday, March 25, 2011

Donoghue accounts for 90% of Orange Prize longlist's sales

The Bookseller - 24.03.11 - Philip Stone

Emma Donoghue's Man Booker-shortlisted novel, Room (Picador), is the clear sales leader among the nominees for the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction.

The controversial novel, inspired by the Josef Fritzl abuse case, sold 13,121 copies in the week that the 20-strong longlist was announced—accounting for 81% of the entire longlist's sales in the seven days to 19th March. In total sales to date terms, Room's 318,055 sales account for 90% of the entire longlist's 354,000 sales.

No other book on the longlist managed to sell more than 1,000 copies last week, although Aminatta Forna's The Memory of Love (Bloomsbury) came close. The ex-documentary film-maker's second novel sold 965 copies at UK booksellers, according to Nielsen BookScan data, up 48% on its previous week sale of 651 copies.

Room and The Memory of Love are two of just seven nominees that have been published in mass-market paperback editions thus far. The average weekly sale of the remaining 13 hardbacks/trade paperbacks was just 128 copies last week, although this figure is up 64% on the previous week average of just 78.

The top performers among the hb/tpb publications were Jennifer Egan's fourth novel, A Visit from the Goon Squad (Corsair), which enjoyed a 2,250% week-on-week sales boost to 470 copies sold, and Téa Obreht's début novel, The Tiger's Wife (Weidenfeld), which enjoyed a 44% uplift to 441 copies sold.

According to BookScan data, 13 of the 20 longlistees sold fewer than 100 copies at UK booksellers last week, with nine of those selling fewer than 50 copies, and two (Julie Orringer's The Invisible Bridge and Anne Peile's Repeat it Today with Tears) selling fewer than 10 copies.

Last year's winner, Barbara Kingsolver's The Lacuna, has sold 186,000 copies to date—£1.2m in value terms.

The top five total volume sales to date:

1) Emma Donoghue's Room (Picador): 318,055
2) Roma Tearne's The Swimmer (HarperPress): 8,660
3) Aminatta Forna's The Memory of Love (Bloomsbury): 4,360
4) Julie Orringer's The Invisible Bridge (Viking): 4,310
5) Louise Doughty's Whatever You Love (Faber): 3,148

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