Author: danielle

Nielsen Bestseller Awards recognise a host of leading authors in an event that acknowledged booksellers’ pivotal role in supporting the nation through 2020


Debut novelist Richard Osman the standout success, as the only title to reach platinum status in the same year as publication. Matt Haig, Reni Eddo-Lodge, David Walliams and Tom Kerridge were also among those honoured.

London, 17 March 2021–The Nielsen Bestseller Awards annual ceremony took place virtually this evening (Wednesday 17 March 2021) with Richard Osman, Reni Eddo-Lodge, Matt Haig and David Walliams among the prize-winners. The awards honoured authors of the most successful books of 2020, who in turn praised the booksellers for playing such a crucial role in not only selling books but also supporting their local communities.

Authors received honours for significant lifetime sales, as measured by Nielsen BookScan and PubTrack Digital across both print and e-book formats. The awards are based on UK sales volumes and were presented to those that passed sales thresholds during 2020 – Silver (250,000 sales), Gold (500,000 sales), and Platinum (1,000,000 sales). Twenty-seven titles were awarded Silver, Gold or Platinum status and the sales have helped contribute to another robust year despite the challenges that lockdown brought to the retail sector of the UK book industry with Nielsen Book estimating the total year at 202m print books sold to the value of £1.8bn.

All titles that achieve Platinum status are inducted into the 21st century Hall of Fame, which now includes 149 titles. In 2020, eight books passed the Platinum Award million copy sales threshold. Although published in 2019, Charlie Mackesy’s The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse was the bestselling title of 2020 and achieved Platinum status, as did Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club. Richard thanked booksellers in his acceptance speech:

“More than anything, a big thank you to all the people who have sold the book, all the booksellers up and down the country – it was such a tough year in 2020, and I know that’s continuing at the moment. I hope in 2021 we can all sell an awful lot more books and I look forward to travelling across the country to meet many readers and booksellers.”

There were three children’s titles that achieved Platinum status: George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney and The Boy in the Dress by David Walliams & Quentin Blake. Sally Rooney’s Normal People and Robert Galbraith’s The Cuckoo’s Calling also became Platinum bestsellers, as did the oldest inductee into the 21st century Hall of Fame Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, originally published in 1813.

Penguin Classics Editorial Director Jessica Harrison reflected on the enduring success of Pride and Prejudice, stating:

“Penguin Books first published Pride and Prejudice back in 1938, in a cheap paperback edition with woodcut illustrations. Since then Austen’s best-loved novel has been an evergreen bestseller for us, published in countless different editions over the years. 

During lockdown last year we saw readers turn to the most iconic and enduring classics on our list, we saw sales of our main edition of Pride and Prejudice rise by 22%. It’s heartening to think that in difficult times, readers turn to classic books like Pride and Prejudice for solace and pleasure more than ever.”

Matt Haig enjoyed a superb 2020 receiving a Gold award for Reasons to Stay Alive and three of his other titles achieving sales of over 250,000: How to Stop Time, The Humans and The Midnight Library — the paperback edition of which is currently a UK #1 bestseller.

Chef Tom Kerridge achieved two awards: Lose Weight for Good (Gold) and Proper Pub Food (Silver). Tom echoed the views of all successful authors, offering his thanks to the important role played by booksellers in local communities:

“My favourite bookseller is The Marlow Bookshop, run by some lovely people. We’re so lucky to have a community bookshop, and we will always be supportive of it. There’s still something super special about your local bookshop, one that sells books with paper in them, not one you order on the internet!”

Gold Awards were also presented to: Reni Eddo-Lodge for Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, Beth O’Leary for The Flatshare, Lisa Jewell for The Family Upstairs, Harriet Tyce for Blood Orange, Kathryn Hughes for The Letter and Christy Lefteri for The Beekeeper of Aleppo.

Silver Awards were presented to: Lucy Foley for The Guest List, Bridget Collins for The Binding, Matthew Syed for You Are Awesome, Heidi Perks for Now You See Her and Erin Kinsley for Found. David Baddiel has crossed the threshold for four of his children’s books, The Person Controller, Head Kid, Birthday Boy & The Parent Agency.

Andre Breedt, Managing Director of Nielsen Book said:

“We are delighted to be celebrating the fifth Nielsen Bestseller Awards, albeit virtually on social media. It feels more important than ever to recognise and celebrate the incredible role books have played in our lives this last year. Whether it was reading for escapism or keeping us calm, helping to homeschool our children or the source of the best binge worthy TV series; books were and continue to be at the centre of our lives. Indeed without books, knowledge would not have transferred across the ages from diaries of former pandemics to medical journals contributing to new vaccines. Never have books been more needed, or appreciated.”


2020 Nielsen Bestseller Awards:

Platinum Winners:

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney
  • George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl
  • Normal People by Sally Rooney
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • The Boy in a Dress by David Walliams & illustrated by Quentin Blake
  • The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy
  • The Cuckoo’s Calling: Cormoran Strike by Robert Galbraith
  • The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

Gold Winners:

  • Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce
  • Fing by David Walliams & illustrated by Tony Ross
  • Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
  • Lose Weight for Good: Full-flavour cooking for a low-calorie diet by Tom Kerridge
  • Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold by Stephen Fry
  • Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
  • Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig
  • The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri
  • The Break by Marian Keyes
  • The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher and illustrated by Shane Devries
  • The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
  • The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
  • The Letter by Kathryn Hughes
  • The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Silver Winners:

  • A Promised Land by Barack Obama
  • Birthday Boy, Head Kid, The Parent Agency & The Person Controller by David Baddiel (Illustrated by Jim Field or Steven Lenton)
  • Found by Erin Kinsley
  • How to Stop Time, The Humans & The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  • Now You See Her by Heidi Perks
  • Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman
  • The Binding by Bridget Collins
  • The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
  • The Guest List by Lucy Foley
  • The World’s Worst Parents by David Walliams & illustrated by Tony Ross
  • Tom Kerridge’s Proper Pub Food by Tom Kerridge
  • You Are Awesome by Matthew Syed & illustrated by Toby Triumph



Nielsen honours authors and illustrators at annual Bestsellers Awards ceremony

Michael Morpurgo, Ian Rankin, Jojo Moyes, Fearne Cotton and David Walliams among those honoured

London, 23 January 2020 – ​Nielsen hosted its annual Bestseller Awards ceremony, in association with Coutts, the wealth manager and private bank, to honour authors of the most successful books of 2019. Held in the prestigious Coutts atrium, authors from across three primary categories – Fiction, Non-Fiction and Children’s – received top honours for significant lifetime sales of their titles as measured by Nielsen BookScan and PubTrack Digital across both print and e-book formats. ​Mariella Frostrup was the host of this year’s Nielsen Bestseller Awards.

The awards categories are based on sales volumes – Silver (250,000 sales), Gold (500,000 sales), and Platinum (1,000,000 sales). The authors being recognised have all reached significant sales milestones and have helped contribute to another robust year for the UK book industry, totalling 191m print books sold last year to the value of £1.7bn. In total, 26 titles were awarded either Silver, Gold or Platinum status.

This year, the Platinum Bestsellers are split across all three categories with eight titles honoured. For Fiction Jojo Moyes’ ​After You, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale ​and Heather Morris’ ​The Tattooist of Auschwitz ​each crossed the threshold of 1m sales in 2019 and were awarded Platinum awards. Jojo Moyes also received a Gold award for ​Still Me ​and Margaret Atwood received Silver for ​The Testaments. Erica James was awarded two Silver awards for ​Tell it to the Skies​ and ​Love and Devotion ​and Cara Hunter received Gold for Close to Home.

Memoirs and healthy eating dominated Non-Fiction in 2019 with both Adam Kay and ​Pinch of Nom ​authors Kay Featherstone and Kate Allinson picking up two awards each. Adam Kay’s ​Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas achieved sales of over 500k in print and e-book, following on from the success of ​This is Going to Hurt ​which won a Platinum award. Pinch of Nom ​also achieved Platinum status and ​Pinch of Nom Everyday Light ​was awarded Silver. Ant Middleton’s ​First Man In: Leading From the Front ​was awarded Gold and Silver awards were presented to Fearne Cotton for ​Happy, Raynor Winn for​ The Salt Path, Dolly Alderton for ​Everything I Know About Love ​and Henry Firth and Ian Theasby for their bestselling vegan cookbook ​BOSH!.

The Children’s category once again boasted familiar authors from the nation’s bestseller charts including David Walliams, receiving one Platinum award for ​Bad Dad as well as two Gold awards for ​The World’s Worst Teachers ​and ​The Beast of Buckingham Palace. Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler brought home another Platinum award for ​A Squash and a Squeeze ​and a Gold for ​The Scarecrows’ Wedding.​ ​ Liz Pichon continued her success, having been awarded six Silver awards previously, with another Silver for ​Tom Gates: Family, Friends and Furry Creatures.

Ian Rankin and Michael Morpurgo were inducted into the 21st Century Hall of Fame, having achieved significant official lifetime sales across all their titles. Ian Rankin has achieved combined lifetime sales of 9.7m in print and 1.6m in e-books. His most popular books are Doors Open, ​selling over 325k print copies, and ​Saints of the Shadow Bible​ which has sold over 158k e-books. ​Michael Morpurgo has sold over 8.5m print books with ​War Horse ​being his most popular having sold 567k paperbacks since publication in June 2017. He has also sold 257k e-books with ​Private Peaceful ​the most popular at 34k copies purchased.

“Once again, we’re delighted to host and honour some of the bestselling authors in the UK,” said Andre Breedt, Managing Director, Nielsen Book Research International.  “2019 was another strong year for the industry, with sales keeping pace with the highs of recent years. My warmest congratulations to all the winners, it is always a pleasure to celebrate with so many of you at our annual ceremony.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Nielsen once again for these awards”, said Simon Hopes, Managing Director, Coutts. “Coutts has a long and proud tradition in the literary world, counting Charles Dickens, Lord Alfred Tennyson and Bram Stoker as former clients. With a library here that dates back to 1850, storytelling is written in the very foundations of this organisation. Seeing so many accomplished authors under one roof, and sharing the celebrations of their achievements is extremely humbling and something everyone at Coutts is proud to support.”

Please see below the list of 2019 Nielsen Bestseller Awards:  

For Non-Fiction:
● Pinch of Nom ​by Kay Featherstone & Kate Allinson
● Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind ​ by Yuval Noah Harari
● This is Going to Hurt ​by Adam Kay

● First Man In: Leading From the Front ​by Ant Middleton
● Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas ​by Adam Kay

● BOSH! ​ by Henry Firth & Ian Theasby
● Everything I Know About Love ​by Dolly Alderton
● Happy ​by Fearne Cotton
● Pinch of Nom Everyday Light ​by Kay Featherstone & Kate Allinson
● The Salt Path ​by Raynor Winn
● When Breath Becomes Air ​by Paul Kalanithi

For Fiction:
● After You ​by Jojo Moyes
● The Tattooist of Auschwitz ​by Heather Morris
● The Handmaid’s Tale ​by Margaret Atwood

● Close to Home ​by Cara Hunter
● Still Me ​by Jojo Moyes

● Love and Devotion ​&​  Tell it to the Skies ​by Erica James
● The Testaments ​by Margaret Atwood

For Children’s:
● Bad Dad ​by David Walliams
● A Squash and a Squeeze ​by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

● The Scarecrows’ Wedding ​by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler
● The World’s Worst Teachers ​&​ The Beast of Buckingham Palace ​by David Walliams

● Fing ​by David Walliams
● Tom Gates: Family, Friends and Furry Creatures ​by Liz Pichon
Honorary 21st Century Hall of Fame:
● Ian Rankin
● Michael Morpurgo

Sarah Morgan’s Snow Crystal Trilogy earns Silver Nielsen Bestseller Award

Sarah Morgan’s Snow Crystal Trilogy has sold over 250,000 copies, earning her a Silver Nielsen Bestseller Award. USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes contemporary romance, and she has won a prestigious RITA© Award from the Romance Writers of America three times.

Sarah was presented with the Silver Nielsen Bestseller Award at the HarperCollins offices in London on 12th December 2017.


Jeff Kinney receives a Platinum Nielsen Bestseller Award for Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Penguin Random House Children’s held a breakfast at the Ritz in London on Monday (4th December 2017) to celebrate 10 years of publishing Jeff Kinney’s Wimpy Kid novels, and to thank the retailers and journalists who have supported the series.

Jeff Kinney received a Platinum Nielsen Bestseller Award for selling over a million copies of his first book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid in the UK. The whole series of Wimpy Kid novels have sold over 10 million books in the UK.

Kinney thanked booksellers for their support “Two years ago, I became a bookseller. I think putting a book into a kids’ hands is the closest we get to a sacred act. Putting the right book into their hands can create a lifelong love.”

Kinney was introduced by Francesca Dow, m.d. of Penguin Random House Children’s, who reminisced about first reading Kinney’s work and divulged that his books had encouraged her own children to become readers. She ended by saying: “Here’s to many more years of Wimpy Kid and making reading a joy for children.”

Victoria Hislop receives Four Nielsen Bestseller awards

Victoria Hislop has been awarded FOUR Nielsen Bestseller awards.  Her chart-topping debut novel, The Island, has now sold over a million copies and receives a Platinum award, with Gold awards being awarded for sales of over half a million copies for The Thread, The Return and The Sunrise.

These awards celebrate the most successful books in Britain based on actual sales measured by Nielsen Book.

Hislop was handed the awards at a ceremony at the Hachette offices in central London on the 14th September, on an occasion to mark her huge success as one of Britain’s leading novelists.

Mari Evans, Managing Director of Headline and her publisher said: ‘Victoria is fast achieving national treasure status as a novelist. Her unique brand of storytelling, which is wholly immersive and so very evocative of place, has always resonated strongly with readers – and not only in the UK. Her domination of bestseller lists around the world means she is beloved by millions. Victoria encourages the most creative approaches to publishing in the teams that work with her and as one of those team members, I couldn’t be more delighted to see this tangible recognition of her bestseller success.’

Andre Breedt, Managing Director of Nielsen Book, said: ‘We are delighted to be able to recognize great sales of any title, but to be able to recognize four bestselling titles from the same author is an amazing achievement. And with her latest novel, Cartes Postales from Greece, at the top of the charts at the moment, an award for Victoria’s fifth bestselling novel can’t be far away!’

Dame Mary Perkins, co-founder of Specsavers, said: ‘Since her debut novel was first released, Victoria Hislop’s books have become synonymous with sandy beaches and salty air – the perfect holiday reads. It’s such a pleasure to see her huge achievements rewarded with the Specsavers Bestseller award – it is very well deserved.’

Inspired by a visit to Spinalonga, the abandoned Greek leprosy colony, Victoria Hislop wrote The Island in 2005. It became an international bestseller and a 26-part Greek TV series. She was named Newcomer of the Year at the British Book awards and is now an ambassador for Lepra. Her affection for the Mediterranean took her to Spain, which inspired her second bestseller The Return, and she returned to Greece to tell the turbulent tale of Thessaloniki in The Thread, shortlisted for a British Book award and confirming her reputation as an inspirational storyteller. It was followed by her much-admired Greece-set short story collection, The Last Dance and Other StoriesThe Sunrise, a Sunday Times Number One bestseller about the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, was published to widespread acclaim in 2014. Victoria Hislop’s latest book, Cartes Postales from Greece, is fiction illustrated with photographs. It was a hardback Sunday Times bestseller and one of the biggest-selling hardback novels of 2016. The paperback edition, published in August 2017, is a Sunday Times Number One bestseller.

Photo caption: Left to right are Peter Straus, Managing Director at Rogers, Coleridge and White (Victoria’s agent), Caitlin Raynor, Deputy Communications Director (Victoria’s publicist), Victoria HislopFlora Rees, (Victoria’s original acquiring editor), Jo Liddiard, Head of Marketing (Victoria’s marketer) andMari Evans, Managing Director, Headline.

The Tiger Who Came To Tea sales surpass the million mark

Judith Kerr, the best-selling children’s author, has been awarded with a Specsavers Platinum Bestseller Award as her classic children’s book, The Tiger Who Came to Tea surpasses one million units sold.

Judith Kerr was presented with the award at a ceremony at the office of her publisher, HarperCollins Children’s Books, central London. The Specsavers Bestseller Awards, powered by Nielsen Book, celebrate the most successful books in Britain based on actual sales measured by Nielsen.

Inspired by her daughter Tacy, The Tiger Who Came to Tea was Judith Kerr’s first picture book and published in 1968. The book has been a perennial bestseller, enchanting generations of young readers and remaining in the top 5,000 books every year since Nielsen Book records began in 1998. The 50th anniversary of this family favourite will be celebrated in 2018. Judith has gone on to write over 25 books for children and her next book, Katinka’s Tale, will be published by HarperCollins Children’s Books in October 2017.

Andre Breedt, Managing Director of Nielsen Book, said: “We’re delighted to be able to recognise the astonishing sales – one million copies – of this well-loved children’s classic, which generations of children – and their parents – have enjoyed for the last half century.  We look forward to recording many more sales over the years to come.”

Ann-Janine Murtagh, Executive Publisher at HarperCollins Children’s Books added: “We are thrilled that Judith Kerr has now achieved a platinum award for sales of The Tiger Who Came to Tea. It’s an iconic picture book that has become part of the magic of childhood for generations of children. It’s never been more popular and we look forward to selling the next million copies! Huge Congratulations to the inimitable Judith Kerr.”

Dame Mary Perkins, co-founder of Specsavers, said: “It is fantastic to see such a classic book reach this milestone achievement. At Specsavers, we are passionate about supporting the literary industry and it is brilliant to celebrate such accomplished and well known authors like Judith.”

HarperCollins Children’s Books have been holding a summer of The Tiger Who Came to Tea celebration this year with bookshops up and down the country hosting Great Tiger Tea Parties. The parties include tiger themed activities for children to enjoy and a chance for bookshops to win a visit from The Tiger character costumer.

Deliciously Ella surpasses a quarter of a million sales

Ella Mills, Co-Founder & Creative Director of Deliciously Ella, has been awarded a Specsavers Silver Bestseller Award, powered by Nielsen, for her debut cookbook, Deliciously Ella, which has now sold over a quarter of a million copies in the UK.

The awards celebrate the most successful books in Britain based on actual sales measured by Nielsen Book.

Ella Mills, founder of Deliciously Ella, is an award-winning cookery author, entrepreneur, and champion of eating well. She started off with her popular blog,, which has had over 110 million hits in the last three years. Her first book came out in January 2015 and has been the bestselling debut cookbook ever in the UK and a New York Times bestseller. She has since released a further three bestselling books, created a #1 app and, with her husband, opened three delis in London, as well as launching a product line across the UK. The products, launched in August 2016, are now stocked in over 3,500 stores, including Starbucks to Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Ocado, WHSmith and Holland and Barrett. The couple will launch a range of breakfasts into retail in July 2017.

Mills was handed the award at a ceremony at the Hachette offices in central London on the 20th July on an occasion to mark the huge success of Deliciously Ella, first published in 2015 by Yellow Kite, as one of the fastest-selling debut cookbooks since Nielsen Book records began in 1998.

Liz Gough, Publisher at Yellow Kite, and Ella’s editor, said ‘It has been really exciting publishing Ella’s books over the last few years – seeing the reaction from retailers and fans alike when this first one was published was amazing. Deliciously Ella was a game-changing book and this award is really significant. Getting an award of this kind is a massive achievement for any author, but it’s particularly special for a first-time author launching a brand new cookbook. Everyone at Yellow Kite and Hodder is thrilled for Ella today.’

Andre Breedt, Managing Director of Nielsen Book, said: ‘We’re delighted to be able to recognise this astonishing sale – 250,000 copies – of Ella’s first healthy eating cookbook, a title that has played a key part in the resurgence we’ve seen in the genre over the past few years.’

Dame Mary Perkins, co-founder of Specsavers, said: ‘The healthy eating phenomenon is well and truly sweeping the country and Deliciously Ella is a firm favourite in our offices. Achieving such a significant amount of sales for a debut book is a real testament to Ella’s hard work, passion and commitment to her field. It’s a pleasure to be able to present her with this well-deserved award.’


Silver Nielsen Bestseller Award for Hello, is this planet Earth?

Congratulations to Tim Peake who recently received a Silver Specsavers Bestseller Award for his book – Hello, is this planet Earth? for sales of over 250,000. Pictured here with Tom Weldon, CEO of Penguin Random House UK.






Hello, is this planet Earth? takes readers on a mesmerizing tour of Tim Peake’s historic and inspirational six-month Principia mission. Based on over 150 of Tim’s stunning photographs that he took on board the international space station, many of which have not been seen before, this lavish collection showcases the beauty of earth from above, and is the perfect visual time capsule of Tim’s remarkable trip, which captured the imaginations of millions of children and adults across the world.