Other titles left in shade by 400,000 sales of Grey
It has been the year of Fifty Shades of Grey, one of the most unlikely publishing sensations in literary history.
The erotic trilogy, written by former television producer EL James, had sold 404,668 copies in Ireland up to the end of last week. It was released in April.
Two of the titles, Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Freed, are still in the top five of the paperback fiction bestsellers as the busiest time of the year for the books industry draws to a close. Teenage fantasy trilogy The Hunger Games has sold 181,115 books this year. All three titles – The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay – occupied the top slots in the bestselling children’s books during the year.
The top-selling children’s book in the Christmas charts is Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel, according to Nielsen BookScan, which compiles the figures.
The most popular hardback fiction title this week is Maeve Binchy’s posthumously published A Week in Winter, which has sold 21,868 copies to date, though it was released just last month. Only JK Rowling’s first novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy, has sold more copies in the hardback fiction category this year.
According to Penguin Ireland managing director Michael McLoughlin, it has been a tough year for the book industry with sales down 10 per cent, a figure not compensated for by the migration of many readers to the Kindle format.
However, he said the latest instalment in the Ross O’Carroll-Kelly series, The Shelbourne Ultimatum, had proved to be as reliable as ever, selling 20,882 copies this year in the week up to December 15th.
Antidote to gloom
Mr McLoughlin said Colm O’Regan’s Isn’t it Well for Ye?: The Book of Irish Mammies was doing well and was a perfect antidote to doom and gloom. It sold 3,126 copies last week.
On the subject of Irish mammies, Mary O’Rourke’s Just Mary: My Memoir has been one of the publishing successes of the year and has sold 12,423 copies so far.
The top-selling sports book of the year was John Hayes’s autobiography, The Bull: My Story, co-written by Sunday Independent columnist Tommy Conlon, which has sold more than 10,000 copies and is still performing well. Simon Schuster agent Simon Hess described the success of Hayes’s book as “phenomenal”.
The late Jim Stynes’s autobiography, My Journey, was the second-biggest-selling sports book (9,423 sold so far), while Tipperary hurler Lar Corbett’s autobiography is also doing well in the Christmas market.
A spokeswoman for Poolbeg Press said its two big successes have been All I Want for Christmas, a book of short stories in aid of children’s charity Barnardos, and the historical fiction novel Tyringham Park, by 70-year-old author Rosemary McLoughlin. They have sold more than 10,000 and 16,000 copies respectively.
Tyringham Park has garnered a lot of good reviews for the first-time novelist.
Eoin Purcell, the commissioning editor at New Island books, tweeted this week that it was the “most hectic Christmas I can recall in publishing. Five books sold out, three of which we just managed to reprint before Christmas.”
Among the titles published by New Island are the parody Irish Shades of Grey and Sean Moncrieff’s novel The Angel of the Streetlamps.