Romance … as reflected on Publisher’s Weekly’s Bestseller Lists

Browsing the ‘net for some inspiration, I came across Publisher’s Weekly’s most recently published bestseller lists. They did inspire me, providing proof as they did that romance thrives ‘out there’ in the real world of book buyers and readers. But they also caused some twinges of annoyance.

Why is it that American authors, publishers, readers and reviewers have free access to regular bestseller lists, but Australian authors, publishers, readers and reviewers do not? Nielsen BookScan supplies the data in both countries, which makes the lack of information in Australia doubly disappointing. Bookseller and Publisher Australia do publish a weekly paragraph on bestsellers, but you have to be a subscriber to access the information which does not include sales data.

COME ON FOLKS WITH THE DATA. We know we don’t sell as many books as they do in America. After all, our population is only about 23.5 million while the Americans have a whopping 320 million potential and future readers. However, we would still like to see some figures. Stop with the secrets please!

Below is a brief reveal of romance and erotica titles featured in PW’s latest bestseller lists: the Top 10 Overall; Top 20 Hardcover Fiction; Top 20 Trade Paperbacks; Top 20 Mass Market Paperbacks; and Top 10 Romance. I have listed the book’s position followed by title, author, publisher, release date and sales figures. There are two sales figures provided. The first is that week’s sales, and the second is total sales year-to-date.

PW bestsellers Oct 2014


Raise a glass of bubbles to Nora Roberts; Blood Magick, book three of her Cousins series, is at #5 in the Top 10 Overall with over 135,000 copies sold to date. Congratulations again to Nora as well as to Debbie Macomber, Robyn Carr, Diana Palmer and Nicholas Sparks, all of whom have more than one title featured on the current bestseller lists. As a genre, romance dominates the mass market paperback category, accounting for 10 of the top 20 bestsellers.

Not surprisingly, Christmas stories and anthologies feature strongly at this time of the year with no less than nine books featuring festive love stories. Debbie Macomber appears to be the 2014 Queen of American Christmas Romance with three books on the lists: Mr Miracle, A Country Christmas and Starry Night.

An interesting footnote is that the first book in the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy is still hanging in there at #9 on the Romance bestseller list despite being over two years old at this stage.

Top 10 Overall

5. Blood Magick: Book Three of the Cousins by Nora Roberts (Berkley, October 2014) 41,052/ 135, 607

Hardcover Fiction

13. Mr Miracle: A Christmas Novel by Debbie Macomber (Ballantine, October 2014) 5,303/ 49, 428

Trade Paperback

1. Blood Magick by Nora Roberts (Berkley, October 2014) 41,052/ 135, 607

7. The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks (Grand Central Publishing, August 2014) 7,726/ 172,586

17. Shadow Spell: Book Two of the Cousins by Nora Roberts (Berkley, March 2014) 3,964/ 279,312

Mass Market Paperback

2. A Country Christmas by Debbie Macomber (Mira, October 2014) 16,110 / 30,958

5. Starry Night by Debbie Macomber (Ballantine, October 2014) 12,922/ 25,889

7. Wyoming Strong by Diana Palmer (Harlequin, October 2014) 12,630/ 28,504

8. Tis the Season by Robyn Carr (October 2014, Mira) 11,196/ 23,969

9. The Best of Me (movie tie-in) by Nicholas Sparks (August 2014, Grand Central) 10,906/ 225,673

12. Snow Angel Cove by RaeAnne Thayne (Harlequin, October 2014) 9,313/ 19,845

candlelight-christmas13. Candlelight Christmas by Susan Wiggs (Mira, October 2014) 9,155/ 17,092

16. The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks (Grand Central, September 2014) 8,915/89,514

19. Christmas on 4th Street by Susan Mallery (Harlequin, October 2014) 7,962/ 16,195

20. Snowflakes on the Sea by Linda Lael Miller (Harlequin, October 2014) 7,765/ 15,908


No sales data is provided with this bestseller list although the first four books appear in the above lists where sales figures are provided.

  1. Blood Magick by Nora Roberts (Berkley, October 2014) 41,052/ 135, 607
  2. The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks (Grand Central Publishing, September 2014)
  3. Starry Night by Debbie Macomber (Ballantine, October 2014)
  4. Mr Miracle: A Christmas Novel by Debbie Macomber (Ballantine, October 2014)
  5. Christmas in Cowboy Country by Janet Dailey (Zebra, September 2014)
  6. California Dreams by Nora Roberts (Silhouette Books, September 2014)
  7. Texas Born/Maggie’s Dad by Diana Palmer (Harlequin, September 2014)
  8. In Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins (Harlequin, September 2014)
  9. Fifty Shades of Grey (Book One) by EL James (Vintage, April 2012)
  10. Forbidden Falls by Robyn Carr (Mira, September 2014)

All I wanASTR-cover-300dpit for Christmas is … a love story set in sunny Australia. Any suggestions?

Despite the absence of a prawn barbie, I’m going to start with Amy Andrew’s novella, Tis the Season to be Kissed, set in Vermont but with plenty of sizzle. There are also the four short stories in A Season to Remember. In the spirit of Christmas, authors Susan Bellamy, Elizabeth Ellen Carter, Noelle Clark and Eva Scott are giving it to all readers as a free download from Smashwords in various formats. Thank you ladies. It’s a lovely gesture that I’ll remember when late-night shopping and long queues threaten to fray my nerves 🙂



* with the exception of California Dreams, which is available in paperback only.

Leave a comment


  1. An interesting article which started me thinking about the difference it makes being a writer in Australia.
    Cos where there are disadvantages you’ll find advantages I reckon. For example, building a strong sense of place into our work with our wonderful, colourful and unique culture and environment.
    It’s a bonus we can make big use of, and events like the G20 summit here in Brisbane last weekend can surely only help?

  2. noelleclarkblog

     /  November 25, 2014

    Although our Australian romance readership is small in comparison to say the US readership, it is nonetheless vibrant and supportive. I publish with US publishers mostly, and have the benefit of that wider audience, but the Australian readers are very fervent in getting behind books that are ‘Aussie made’. And thank you RWA for mentioning the free Christmas anthology that my friends and I are gifting to readers.

  3. elizabethellencarter

     /  November 25, 2014

    Thank you very much RWA for mentioning A Season To Remember. I want to thank the organisation because through it I met Noelle, Susanne and Eva. 🙂


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