How a man with a stethoscope beat the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Confessions of a GP surprisingly beats crime thriller as biggest selling digital book of the year

An anonymous doctor writing under a pseudonym has beaten blockbuster authors including Stieg Larsson and David Nicholls to the top of the 2011 chart for ebooks with a debut work that has relied almost solely on word-of-mouth publicity.

Confessions of a GP, by Dr Benjamin Daniels, has been downloaded more than 100,000 times this year, and topped the digital best-sellers chart compiled by FutureBook.

The book, which was first published in August last year, has sold just 8,500 copies of its print edition. Yet the digital version, which can now be bought for as little as a pound, has been a runaway success.

Scott Pack of The Friday Project, the book's publisher and an arm of HarperCollins, said he was "over the moon" about the book's success. He conceded much of the book's success could be explained by aggressive pricing: "We don't have any superstar authors so we deliberately price our ebooks lower than those like the Stieg Larsson books."

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson was the second-most downloaded book of the year. Its publisher, Quercus, expects a bump after the Boxing Day release of the Hollywood adaptation starring Daniel Craig.

The third-most popular ebook of the year was The Basement by Stephen Leather and published by the author. Mr Leather's Hard Landing, which is published by Hodder & Stoughton, was the next most popular book of the year. Mr Pack said there had been a "gold rush" last Christmas as people filled up their new Kindles with cheap books. Most of the titles in the top 50, he pointed out, were thrillers. The list was still dominated by traditional publishing houses.

One which has succeeded as an independent is Mark Edwards, who wrote the 49th-highest seller this year with Catch Your Death, with Louise Voss. He said: "We didn't get anywhere for years but the Kindle gave us a new lease of life." They subsequently landed a publishing deal with HarperCollins.

As for the so-called Dr Daniels, "we are keen for him to do a second volume," Mr Pack said. "But he is pretty busy with his day job."

Digital hits: The ebook top ten

1. Confessions of a GP

A humorous take on life as a family GP written by a real doctor using the pseudonym Benjamin Daniels.

2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

First in Stieg Larsson's trilogy; a journalist teams up with a hacker to solve a murder.

3. The Basement

Stephen Leather's self-published thriller puts two detectives on the track of a serial killer.

4. Hard Landing

Detective Dan Shepherd faces his toughest job as a drug baron kills off witnesses in another by Leather.

5. One Day

Popular tale by David Nicholls of the lives of Dex and Emma each St Swithin's day.

6. The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

The conclusion to Larsson's series finds Lisbeth Salander fighting for her life.

7. The Girl who Played with Fire

The second in the Larsson trilogy finds the lead fighting to clear her name of double murder.

8. A Game of Thrones

The first in a series of fantasy novels by George R R Martin and adapted into a recent TV series.

9. Room

The novel by Emma Donoghue was inspired by the Fritzl case as a young woman is abused in a room for seven years

10. The Hanging Shed

An ex-policeman returns home to Glasgow to help clear the name of a friend accused of murder

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Clara takes the lead in 'Flatline' while the Doctor remains in the Tardis
tvReview: The 'Impossible Girl' earns some companion stripes... but she’s still annoying in 'Dr Who, Flatline'
Arts and Entertainment
Joy Division photographed around Waterloo Road, Stockport, near Strawberry Studios. The band are Bernard Sumner (guitar and keyboards), Stephen Morris (drums and percussion), Ian Curtis (vocals and occasional guitar), Peter Hook (bass guitar and backing vocals).
books
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Sean Harris in 'The Goob' film photocall, at the Venice International Film Festival 2014
filmThe Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Streisand is his true inspiration
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor contestant Fleur East
tvReview: Some lacklustre performances - but the usual frontrunners continue to excel
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Tuttle's installation in the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern
artAs two major London galleries put textiles in the spotlight, the poor relation of the creative world is getting recognition it deserves
Arts and Entertainment
Hunger Games actress Jena Malone has been rumoured to be playing a female Robin in Batman v Superman
film
Arts and Entertainment
On top of the world: Actress Cate Blanchett and author Richard Flanagan
artsRichard Flanagan's Man Booker win has put paid to the myth that antipodean artists lack culture
Arts and Entertainment
The Everyman, revamped by Haworth Tompkins
architectureIt beats strong shortlist that included the Shard, the Library of Birmingham, and the London Aquatics Centre
Arts and Entertainment
Justice is served: Robert Downey Jr, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong and Robert Duvall in ‘The Judge’

Film

Arts and Entertainment
Clive Owen (centre) in 'The Knick'

TV

Arts and Entertainment
J.K. Simmons , left, and Miles Teller in a scene from

Film

Arts and Entertainment
Team Tenacity pitch their fetching solar powered, mobile phone charging, heated, flashy jacket
tvReview: No one was safe as Lord Sugar shook things up
News
Owen said he finds films boring but Tom Hanks managed to hold his attention in Forrest Gump
arts
Arts and Entertainment
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch
Music Album is set to enter UK top 40 at lowest chart position in 30 years
Arts and Entertainment
The Michael McIntyre Chat Show airs its first episode on Monday 10 March 2014
Comedy
Arts and Entertainment

Review

These heroes in a half shell should have been left in hibernation
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Flanagan with his novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North
books'The Narrow Road to the Deep North' sees the writer become the third Australian to win the accolade
Arts and Entertainment
New diva of drama: Kristin Scott Thomas as Electra
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Daenerys Targaryen, played by Emilia Clarke, faces new problems

Sek, k'athjilari! (That’s “yes, definitely” to non-native speakers).

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Polly Morgan

art
Arts and Entertainment
The kid: (from left) Oona, Geraldine, Charlie and Eugene Chaplin

film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
    Let's talk about loss

    We need to talk about loss

    Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
    Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

    Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

    Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
    Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

    'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

    If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
    James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
    Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

    Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

    Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
    Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

    Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

    Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
    How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

    How to dress with authority

    Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
    New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

    New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

    'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
    Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

    Tim Minchin interview

    For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
    Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
    Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

    Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

    Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album