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Chris McCrudden @cmccrudden
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I've spent some time analysing bestseller sales figures from this article and there's some fascinating stuff in here.

Get ready for some graphs.…
1. Children's
The Top 100 books in the UK sold nearly 16 million copies in 2018.

31% of those books were children's books.

(Can we have more children's book coverage plzkthks?)
2. David Walliams

Did you know that 40% of the top-selling children's books sold in the UK last year were by David Walliams?

He sold more than 1.91 million books in 2018. JK Rowling sold 600k
3. The state of fiction

Big caveat, this data only covers physical books sold in book stores, but.....

In fiction in 2018 there were crime thrillers, and then there was everything else.

And 30% of 'everything else' was a single book: Eleanor Oliphant.
4. Who publishes the big crime-thrillers?

Hachette and PRH have a pretty strong grip over the grip-lit genre!
5. WOT about the other genres?

Things notably absent from this Top 100:-
💖 Romance (other than Jojo Moyes)
🤖 Science fiction (other than Ready Player Go, which was a film tie-in
🧙🏼‍♀️ Fantasy (unless you count Greek or Norse myths)

I would bet these sales are mostly ebooks now
6. Non-fiction!

Food continues to lead the category: particularly combined diet-cookery books.

Pop science had a *really* good year. Self-help less so. And a lot of those sales are J*rdan P*t*rson (who will go in the science & philosophy section over my dead body.
7. Going deeper into non-fiction

As with fiction, it's remarkable how thin the line-up for non-fiction feels. Humour, geography, politics, history etc are all represented in the Top 100 by a single break-out title.
8. Why is the line-up so thin?

These are Top 100 books, so a very small slice of overall publishing output.

But I do wonder, given the total dominance of a few authors and genres, whether anything that wasn't grip-lit, pop-science, up-lit or David Walliams got much marketing.
9. And who published these bestsellers?

It was a VERY good year for HarperCollins, who have been too reliant on David Walliams for nearly a decade. PRH & Hachette are cleaning up, especially on crime & thrillers.

Despite being a 'Big 4' house, S&S had *ONE* bestseller in 2018.
10. How many copies makes a bestseller?

(NGL, crunching these figures as a recently published author has been a sobering experience.)

The average children's bestseller (not including Walliams, Kinney or Rowling, who skew the numbers) sold 110,000 copies in 2018.
11. Crime Thrillers

A category leader like Lee Child can shift 300,000 copies

A best-seller is between 100-140k copies
12. General Fiction

Because so little general fiction made it into the Top 100 in 2018, these books sold proportionally more.

When I did this exercise last year, a general ficiton bestseller sold about 100k copies. Now it's about 140k
13. And finally....

Sophie Kinsella sold more books than J*rdan P*terson last year. Use that fact to keep you warm on a cold night.

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