Monday, January 12, 2009

The Bestselling Books of 2008

Here is the list from Bookscan of the 50 top-selling books in the US in 2008. Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series, in its numerous permutations, dominates the list. But it is also interesting to see the scope of other sales. Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers was released in November and he sold 420,000 copies in just about two months. (And don’t forget his other two books continue to perch on the New York Times paperback non-fiction list.

I interviewed Kate Jacobs, the author of The Friday Night Knitting Club, for a panel at Book Group Expo in San Jose in August. I knew her first novel was a smash success, but I am astounded that it sold 683,000 copies. This is the quest on which publishers embark – finding that breakaway fiction bestseller.

There is only one book on this list that is new literary fiction: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. It was an Oprah pick and has sold 580,000. The rest of the best-sellers are mass market fiction.

In that vein of looking for the next bestseller, I was astounded to see in the Sunday Jan. 11 San Francisco Chronicle book review not one, but two, full-page ads for Tiffany Baker’s debut novel, The Little Giant of Aberdeen County. Baker lives in Belvedere in Marin County, which many account for the double advertising, but it is clear her publisher Grand Central expects this one to do well. There was another full page ad in the New York Times book review.

The list from Bookscan:

1 Breaking Dawn Meyer, Stephenie 3,310,000
2 Twilight Meyer, Stephenie 3,175,000
3 A New Earth Tolle, Eckhart 3,146,000
4 The Last Lecture Pausch, Randy 2,705,000
5 New Moon Meyer, Stephenie 2,667,000
6 Eclipse Meyer, Stephenie 2,563,000
7 The Shack Young, William 2,551,000
8 The Tales of Beedle the Bard Rowling, JK 1,822,000
9 Brisingr Paolini, Christopher 1,312,000
10 Eat, Pray, Love Gilbert, Elizabeth 1,274,000
11 Three Cups of Tea Mortenson, Greg 1,099,000
12 The Appeal Grisham, John 954,000
13 New Moon Meyer, Stephenie 890,000
14 The Secret Byrne, Rhonda 828,000
15 The Host Meyer, Stephenie 794,000
16 The Audacity of Hope Obama, Barack 764,000
17 Diary of a Wimpy Kid Kinney, Jeff 721,000
18 Eat This Not That! Zinczenko, David 706,000
19 Rodrick Rules Kinney, Jeff 696,000
20 The Friday Night Knitting Club Jacobs, Kate 683,000
21 Dreams from My Father Obama, Barack 680,000
22 Water for Elephants Gruen, Sara 638,000
23 The Kite Runner Hosseini, Khaled 602,000
24 Twilight Meyer, Stephenie 584,000
25 The Story of Edgar Sawtelle Wroblewski, David 580,000
26 The Lucky One Sparks, Nicholas 575,000
27 Skinny Bitch Barnouin, Kim 565,000
28 Playing for Pizza Grisham, John 493,000
29 The Power of Now Tolle, Eckhart 489,000
30 Twilight Meyer, Stephenie 479,000
31 When You Are Engulfed in Flame Sedaris, David 477,000
32 Cross Country Patterson, James 474,000
33 Fearless Fourteen Evanovich, Janet 472,000
34 The Christmas Sweater Beck, Glenn 469,000
35 Nineteen Minutes Picoult, Jodi 461,000
36 The Pillars of the Earth Follett, Ken 456,000
37 Dewey: The Small-Town Library Myron, Vicki 449,000
38 Marley & Me Grogan, John 444,000
39 7th Heaven Patterson, James 441,000
40 Audition: A Memoir Walters, Barbara 437,000
41 The Hollow Roberts, Nora 9780515144598 427,000
42 Twilight (with poster) Meyer, Stephenie 425,000
43 Outliers Gladwell, Malcolm 420,000
44 90 Minutes in Heaven Piper, Don 418,000
45 Strengths Finder 2.0 Rath, Tom 399,000
46 A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity O'Reilly, Bill 387,000
47 Sail Patterson, James 383,000
48 The Battle of the Labyrinth Riordan, Rick 382,000
49 Gallop! Seder, Rufus Butler 379,000
50 The Alchemist Coelho, Paulo 377,000

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm really surprized that the Bible wasn't among the 50 best-selling books of the year.
Did you just decide to leave it off the list (which should be noted if true), or were more copies of each of these books sold than the Bible?