Monday, April 27, 2009

Bestselling books of 2008 - SF/Fantasy

Andrew Wheeler lists the best sellers in Science Fiction and Fantasy of last year. I was surprised at how high the numbers were. I keep reading as how nobody reads books these days (they're all off having a tweet) and the publishing industry is tanking.

Highest genre adult hardcover is at #3. It's The Host, Stephenie Meyer, wtih 1,240,005 sold. Not bad.

Much further down, one that we actually own, Anathem, Neal Stephenson, with 157,215 sold is the first genre SF novel on the list. Still not bad.

Another one we own, in paperback The Yiddish Policemen's Union, Michael Chabon, with 150,000 sold.

However, in paperbacks, Mr. Wheeler warns us:

Top book is John Grisham's The Appeal, at 2,185,722. (By comparison, the best-selling movie of the year, The Dark Knight, sold an estimated 22.37 million admissions -- roughly ten times as many. It's useful to remember this issue of magnitude when thinking about the book world: it's about a tenth as popular as movies.)
But then, MacDonalds sells two million meals a day in the UK (can't find figures for the US), and that's not a fair comparison either. Books are books, not movies or burgers.

He points out that the top Trade Paperback seller is Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth, with 5,298,355 sold. Clearly people don't mind paying to have a nice Trade Paperback as opposed to a regular paperback. I wonder why that is?

The children's book business is booming compared with the adult fare.

#1 Breaking Dawn, Stephenie Meyer, 6,051,981
#2 The Tales of Beedle the Bard, J.K. Rowling, 3,577,183
#3 Brisingr, Christopher Paolini, 2,604,642
#6 The Battle of the Labyrinth, Rick Riordan, 1,000,000

Lots of full lists at his blog.

I'd probably feel better if I owned more than two books out of the entire set of lists Mr. Wheeler printed, mind you.

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