October 16, 2012
How many books does the Booker sell?
by Ellie Robins
And so another Booker Eve has passed, no doubt restlessly for the shortlisted authors and their publishers. A la Data has some pretty pleasing infographics, showing the sales bumps those six shortlisted titles have already enjoyed. A summary:
- Three — Deborah Levy’s Swimming Home, Tan Twan Eng’s The Garden of Evening Mists, and Jeet Thayil’s Narcopolis — have enjoyed ‘bombastic’ increases in sales since the longlist was announced.
- Will Self’s Umbrella and Alison Moore’s The Lighthouse had not yet been published when the longlist was announced, but both saw extremely healthy spikes in sales just after shortlist day.
- Only Hilary Mantel’s Bring up the Bodies, a huge seller on its release in May, is now selling fewer copies per week than immediately after its pub date, though it too had a significant spike on shortlist day.
Ellie Robins is an editor at Melville House. Previously, she was managing editor of Hesperus Press.