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Who is top of the charts?

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2006-11-17 Bookseller.jpg


Penguin's annual continues to lord it over the opposition in the children's market

Even without Guinness World Records, last week was a big week for sales of annuals, with The Beano and Match! on the rise, and Bratz plus two Disney titles new in the top 50. None of them, however, can touch Doctor Who: The Official Annual (Penguin), which tops the children's chart for a third week and is up to fourth overall.

Its first week as children's number one came in mid-September, before Terry Pratchett's Wintersmith (Doubleday) and Lemony Snicket's The End (Egmont) took over for three weeks apiece, but the Doctor Who book is now well clear of the rest. The latest of three successive surges in sales, as the graph below shows, was one of nearly 50% last week, taking its life tally to 129,724 already.

Those spikes have each coincided with big drops in the book's average selling price—half-price promotions on annuals are everywhere—yet this is one of the only annuals to feature, at near full-price one assumes, in the independent retailers' chart left. Last week saw its second lowest a.s.p. to date, of £4.39, but revenue nevertheless passed £600,000.

If sales are to mirror those of D C Thomson's Beano Annual in previous years—and all the signs point to that—Doctor Who will stay on top of the children's chart right up to the end of the year. The Beano book sold more than 40,000 copies in the Christmas week last year.

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