Sunday, 9 October 2005

New Series Book and DVD Sales


October 9, 2005 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
The second batch of three Ninth Doctor novels published by BBC Books in September seems to have followed the pattern set by the initial releases in May. The three novels all sold very strongly in their first week of release, reaching impressive chart positions, before settling down to a smaller but steady sale in the UK. They occupied the top three positions in the chart compiled by Gardners book distributors of the titles for which there was most demand from bookshops, and appeared in the top ten or twenty in various fiction charts published in the UK's press. The three novels debuted in the Top 20 Fiction Heatseeker's Chart (Bookseller/Neilson) as follows:
12 Only Human (1,797 units sold in seven days to 10 September)
14 The Deviant Strain (1,727)
15 The Stealers of Dreams (1,718)
The Bookseller commented on 16 September: "Following a long-running stint in the list earlier this year, Doctor Who makes a comeback with a second batch of three adventures from BBC Books. The new titles retain only one author, Justin Richards, from the first series." All three novels dropped just outside this Top 20 after a couple of weeks, although this is at a time of year when book sales are higher anyway - Top 20 sales in June are generally lower than in October, so broadly similar sales figures will not necessarily secure similar chart positions. With combined sales in their first four weeks at about 30,000, this is a little lower than the equivalent period in May/June, but this is, of course, without the benefit of the publicity from a prime-time television show on BBC One. Panini's Doctor Who Annual 2006 has also sold well, joining the three novels in The Bookseller's Top 20 TV Tie-ins chart, published in today's edition of the trade magazine:
11 Doctor Who Annual (4,915 units in four weeks to 24 September)
12 Only Human (4,826)
13 The Deviant Strain (4,635)
14 The Stealers of Dreams (4,619)
The Bookseller notes that "The [BBC] is also seeing another round of impressive sales for its 'Doctor Who' novelisations. Like the first three books of the regenerated series, life sales of which are nearing 30,000, the three titles in its latest batch all have remarkably similar sales figures." It's perhaps also worth noting that the three novels were in fact on sale for only two of the four weeks covered by this particular chart, and have clearly continued their established sales trend in the couple of weeks since. Meanwhile, the fourth volume of the new series on DVD debuted (and peaked) at no. 2 in the official DVD chart on 11 September, behind The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and is still in the lower reaches of various charts. (Thanks to Steve Tribe)