The Publishing Post
Shuffling of the Shelves - April Part 1
By Jenn Shelton, Hannah Moore and Holly Watson
With April showers bringing fresh flowers, and as spring arrives, we see new authors blossoming along with fan favourites, such as Julia Quinn, who is springing back into popularity in the first half of this month’s charts!
Topping the Waterstones bestsellers list are a lot of stunning exclusives editions. At number one is The Last Bear by Hannah Gold. This is an important book for readers of all ages as it touches on issues of climate change and the plight of endangered species. It is Waterstones’ Children’s Book of the Month and won Waterstones’ Children’s Book of the Year 2022 and Best Book for Younger Readers. At number seven and number eight are The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex and Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus respectively. Lessons in Chemistry was particularly popular this month thanks to the exclusive stencilled edges and extra scene. With feminist flare, “…Lessons in Chemistry is a story for all the smart girls who refuse to dumb themselves down despite a culture that demands otherwise…” (Rachel Yoder, author of Nightbitch.)
At number four in WHSmith’s book chart this week is, A Line to Kill. This unique story tells of the sinister goings-on at a literary festival on a tiny island, in which the central character is the author himself (Anthony Horowitz.) Other characters appear to have secrets, and one doesn’t have to look too far for suspects when the festival’s wealthy sponsor is murdered. Taking the number six spot is Jenny Colgan’s Sunrise by the Sea, an indulgent romance set on a seaside resort. This comfort read takes place as the main character is struggling with grief, and travels in search of solitude – only to find herself involved in the chaos of her new community. Jacqueline Wilson’s new release, Baby Love is at number seven. Aimed at older readers, the 1960s novel about teen pregnancy deals with issues of family conflict, friendship and young love.
There has been a lot of movement in the Amazon charts this month. Julia Quinn dominates with five of her “regency-set novels” featuring in the charts (Amazon). These books have risen to popularity due to the Netflix series Bridgerton. An Offer From a Gentleman, is currently number five in the charts and follows Benedict Bridgerton’s story. It sits above the others due to viewers wanting to know more about the Bridgerton family, with only two seasons being out. The Push by Ashley Audrain is number four this week, described as “like The Girl on The Train but better” (Amazon.) Audrain’s novel is a Sunday Times bestseller and there are now talks of it being made into a film. Ellery Lloyd’s thriller The Club comes in at number sixteen. Lloyd’s novel was only published last month and has already gained the title of New York Times bestseller.
Bookstagram is an ever changing platform and no two weeks are the same! However, some trends do stick around and this month indie authors are taking centre stage. @jennifer_l_armentrout has been on the feeds of many bookstagrammers with the release of the fourth book The War of Two Queens in her popular Blood and Ash series. @judyilin’s debut A Magic Steeped in Poison is an indie bestseller, a New York Times bestseller and a USA Today bestseller. A Magic Steeped in Poison debuted on 29 March 2022 in North America and will release in paperback in the UK on 6 September 2022.
With the popularity of mythology, Madeleine Miller’s The Song of Achilles is being celebrated throughout social media. It is a retelling of the Trojan War told from the point of view of exiled prince, Patroclus. Against the backdrop of conflict, Patroclus develops a bond closer than friendship to Achilles, and this struggle for survival will have readers gripped. Another book receiving ongoing attention is Open Water. This novel about the connection between love and race in the modern world has been nominated for an abundance of awards, so it’s hardly surprising that TikTok is loving it! Caleb Azumah Nelson takes us on a journey with two Black British people trying to succeed in London and struggling in love with one another.
Our noteworthy book this month is Tom Parker’s Hope. Parker was known for being a member of the boyband The Wanted, and sadly, he lost his battle with cancer on the 30 March. Since receiving this tragic news, fans have made it their mission to spread Parker’s message of hope by pushing his book to number one in the book charts. Before his passing, Tom tweeted that his book “is not a book about dying: It’s a book about living,” with this message of hope being central to the narrative (Twitter.) Waterstones have described it as an “inspirational memoir” which details Tom’s working-class upbringing, his rise to fame, his diagnosis with stage IV Glioblastoma and his work bringing awareness to his condition (Waterstones.) Hope is due to be published in July, currently sitting at number one in the WHSmith charts and number four in Amazon’s most-sold chart.