Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Book News: Hornets' Nest soars into first place as Larsson takes 4% of market

The final instalment in the late Stieg Larsson's Millennium crime trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest, sold a phenomenal 98,167 copies in just three days last week. The book, which went on sale on 1st April, comfortably tops this week's Official UK Top 50.

It is one of the strongest sales from a paperback fiction title since records began, and the biggest in a single Sunday-to-Saturday week since John Grisham's The Broker (Arrow) sold 99,146 copies in the week leading up to Christmas Day in 2005.

The first book in the trilogy, The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, sold 39,989 copies last week with sales split between the original mass-market edition (21,724) and the new film tie-in edition (18,265), while The Girl Who Played with Fire sold 29,271 copies. In total, just over £800,000 was spent on the three titles, with volume sales accounting for 4% of all book sales last week.

While The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest débuts at the summit of the overall chart, James Patterson and Maxine Paetro's San Francisco-set Women's Murder Club thriller, 9th Judgement (Century), debuts at the top of the Original Fiction list thanks to a three-day sale of 13,159 copies.

Lee Child's 61 Hours (Bantam Press) falls one place to second position in that list while Philip Pullman's controversial re-telling of the story of Jesus, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ (Canongate), joins the Original Fiction list in third place.

After weeks of stagnant sales in non-fiction there are finally signs of life — in paperback in particular. Eight new entries are welcomed into the Paperback Non-fiction Top 20, and there's a new number one. Sean Smith's biography of Cheryl Cole, Cheryl (S&S), is the new chart-topper with a seven-day sale of 6,617 copies - just three more than that clocked up by Simon & Schuster stablemate Patrick Swayze's memoir, The Time of My Life, in its three days on sale. Jo Brand's memoir, Look Back in Hunger (Headline), joins the Paperback Non-fiction Top 20 in third position while there are also new entries for Piers Morgan and the latest Playfair Cricket Annual (Headline).

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