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Monday, December 29, 2008

Comic Cuts: Bestselling British Annuals

Although I've no firm figures for sales, the The Bookseller's Top 50 best-selling books for the week ending 20th December showed that annuals were still a popular tradition over the Christmas period, with The Beano Annual placed at #19, followed by The Official Doctor Who Annual (#20), High School Musical: The Annual (#26), Match! Annual (#35), Hannah Montana Annual (#37), Top Gear Annual (#38), In the Night Garden Annual (#43), Oor Wullie Annual (#45), WWE Annual (#46) and Private Eye Annual (#49). To achieve these positions, The Beano and Doctor Who sold approximately 27,000 copies, High School Musical followed close behind, selling around 26,400, whilst Private Eye, at the lower end of the list, sold around 15,300.

The number one slot was (I guess inevitably) held by J. K. Rowling, whose The Tales of Beedle the Bard sold almost 160,000 copies, a 64,000 lead over the #2 title, Dawn French's autobiography, Dear Fatty.

Amazon's various sales charts are a good guide to the popularity of titles. Here's a snapshot of the bestselling annuals as of 29 December (with Amazon sales position in brackets).

Top 50 Annuals
1 The QI Annual 2009 (57)
2 Top Gear Annual 2009. (70)
3 Strictly Come Dancing The Official 2009 Annual. (122)
4 Doctor Who: The Official Annual 2009. (159)
5 The Beano Annual 2009. (160)
6 Oor Wullie Annual 2009. (201)
7 The Dandy Annual 2009. (752)
8 Viz: The Last Turkey in the Shop. (772)
9 Hannah Montana Annual 2009. (792)
10 Peppa Pig: The Official Annual 2009. (927)
11 Match Annual 2009 (956)
12 Blue Peter Annual 2009. (1,277)
13 High School Musical Annual 2009. (1,422)
14 The Official Manchester United Annual 2009. (2.145)
15 Match of the Day Annual 2009 (2,181)
16 The Official Liverpool FC Annual 2009 (2,460)
17 Horrible Histories Annual 2009 (2,843)
18 Doctor Who Storybook 2009 (2,941)
19 The Girls' Annual 2009. (3,021)
20 Wallace and Gromit Annual 2009. (3,044)
21 WWE Annual 2009. (3,119)
22 The Official Arsenal Calendar 2009 (3,379)
23 The Official Chelsea Calendar 2009 (3,526)
24 Shaun the Sheep Annual 2009. (3,792)
25 Star Wars Annual 2009. (3,997)
26 Ben 10 Annual 2009. (4,249)
27 The Bash Street Kids in Space Cadets. (4,515)
28 The Official Tottenham Hotspur Annual 2009 (4.634)
29 Bunty for Girls Annual 2009. (5,468)
30 The Rupert Annual [2009]. (5,559)
31 Disney Pixar Annual 2009: Wall-E (5,584)
32 The Brownie Annual 2009. (5,832)
33 Pokemon Diamond and Pearl Annual 2009. (6,827)
34 The Boys' Annual 2009. (7,503)
35 Dennis the Menace Annual 2009. (7,513)
36 Star Wars: The Clone Wars Annual 2009. (7,709)
37 Fireman Sam Annual 2009. (8,438)
38 In the Night Garden Annual 2009. (8,703)
39 Horrible Science Annual 2009. (8,999)
40 Animals and You Annual 2009. (9,529)
41 The Hot Shot Hamish Annual 2009. (11,221)
42 Shoot! Annual 2009. (12,586)
43 SpongeBob Squarepants Annual 2009. (15,654)
44 Bob the Builder Annual 2009. (17,239)
45 Power Rangers Annual 2009: Operation Overdrive. (20,996)
46 The Backyardigans Annual 2009. (22,063)
47 Fifi and the Flowertots Annual 2009. (24,662)
48 Barbie Official Annual 2009. (32,015)
49 Lazy Town Annual 2009. (35,765)
50 Thomas and Friends Annual 2009. (39,431)

2 comments:

Mike W said...

It's sad to see the Rupert annual so low in the charts. About 6 years ago, I attended a talk by Jerry Reynolds, managing director of Pedigree Books who stated that the 3 top selling annuals, year-in, year-out were Beano, Dandy & Rupert. From my notes, I see that he reported that the annual market in the UK was small but in the months of November & December it was dynamic. In 2002 the annual market was worth about £20 million in retail sales. A good sale was 40 -50,000 copies, an exceptional sale was 100,000 copies & at the time Rupert was selling 140,000 copies. whereas an average hardback sold 7,500 copies.
There were roughly 200 annuals a year whereas in 1936 when the Rupert annual commenced there were about 10! In 2002, Pedigree had about 40% of the UK annuals market and along with Egmont & D.C.Thomson accounted for about 90%of the market.Rupert annual sales were not restricted to bookshops and 50-55% of sales were in outlets such as Woolworths (not now!), Sainsburys, Tescos, Asda & W.H.Smiths. The reviews of the latest Rupert Annual on Amazon have been some of the most critical reviews of any book that I can ever recall reading - they are even worse than the ones for Naomi Campbell's short-lived foray into authoring - this is probably because people care so much about Rupert annuals & their long & proud tradition. The comparison between the 2009 Annual & the latest facsimile (1963 Annual)are quite telling but nothing stays the same for ever.

ARCHAVIST said...

I wasn't that keen on this year's Beano Annual - maybe, I'm getting too old.