Highest-ever sales for Booker shortlist six

  • @_richardhall

The six novels in the running for this year's Man Booker Prize have sold more copies since being shortlisted than those in any previous year.

The novels, four of them by British authors, have sold 37,500 copies since the shortlist was announced at the beginning of the month – a rise of 127 per cent on last year.

The speed with which the two top-selling titles – debut novelist AD Miller's Snowdrops and Carol Birch's Jamrach's Menagerie – were made available in paperback may have contributed to their sales of 11,800 and 9,000 respectively.

Jamrach's Menagerie, the story of a young boy's adventures working at an exotic pet shop in 19th-century Wapping, has also benefited from its inclusion in Richard and Judy's autumn book club recommendations – which has been known to propel novels to the top of bestseller lists.

The rise in sales could also be attributed to the drop in price of the shortlisted novels. All six can be bought for £65.95, according to The Bookseller, a saving of £37 on last year's nominations.

The Sense of an Ending, by the four-time Booker nominee Julian Barnes, had the third-highest sales with 6,400 books sold since 6 September.

Pigeon English, the debut novel from the former civil servant Stephen Kelman, loosely based on the story of murdered schoolboy Damilola Taylor, comes in fourth with 3,900 sales. Patrick De Witt's western The Sisters Brothers sold 3,500 copies and Esi Edugyan's Half Blood Blues, 2,800.