AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
Back in PW's bestseller report of 2002, there were an astounding number of mass market bestsellers with sales over the million-copy mark. A total of eight books boasted sales of two million and more; an additional 39 claimed more than one million. That's a dramatic contrast to the total of six million+ players noted in our 2012 report. Two current million-copy authors, John Grisham and Nora Roberts, were among the 2002 two million+, and Roberts had three on that list. The newcomer to the 2011 million-copy club is George R.R. Martin, with four books totaling more than 5.5-million co ties.
There were 48 mass market bestsellers with units of more than 500,000+ on this year's list--the lowest figure we've recorded. In 2010, the previous low record, 58 bestsellers reached 500,000+. And in the 2002 report, for which we collected sales only on 750,000+, there were 72 mass markets that hit that number,
What did not change among the 2011 top sellers were the authors. They include the usual winners who have multiple hits--James Patterson with five--and Janet Evanovich, Danielle Steel, Dean Koontz, Debbie Macomber, Iris Johansen, each with three apiece. For most of these authors, unit sales dropped from previous years. In 2010, Evanovich went over the one million mark with Finger Lickin' Fifteen and Koontz's highest was 948,000 for Restless, Patterson got to about 927,000 for Cross Fire, and Macomber reached more than 900,000 for One Night. The two perennial high rollers that did go higher from 2010 to 2011 were Grisham and Roberts.
Fewer Trade Titles
For trade paperbacks, we again asked publishers to report on titles that sold 100,000 or more during the 2011 calendar year. The figure for last year was 106, a record low. In 2010, we had 134 books reporting sales of 100,000+ and the record high was in 2005 with 226 books. Also waning were unit sales. In 2011, there were eight books with sales of 500,000+ compared with 12 in 2010 and 22 in 2009. Two of the high rollers, The Help and Water for Elephants, appeared twice--the second time for their movie tie-in editions. Both racked up very impressive sales when combining the two editions. The Help went over the five million mark (all the Academy Award Oscar buzz certainly helped), and Water rose to about 1,263,000. Topping the charts for the first time is …