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World Cup good news for football books

Sports book sales have not been immune in a generally sluggish year for non-fiction sales but interest generated by the World Cup has seen some sharp increases in figures.

According to Nielsen BookScan -- as reported on www.thebookseller.com -- some football titles have enjoyed spectacular surges.

For example, Torres: El Niño: My Story, the autobiography of Liverpool and Spain striker Fernando Torres, published by HarperSport, has become the top-selling football memoir, with sales up to more than 1,200 copies per week, an increase of a massive 7,450 per cent on pre-World Cup figures.

The bestselling new World Cup book -- Keir Radnedge's 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Official Book(Carlton) -- has been jumping off the shelves at a rate of around 3,000 copies per week, some 55 per cent better than a month ago.

Meanwhile, sales of Radnedge's FIFA World Football Records 2010(Carlton), published in September 2009, leapt from just 47 copies sold during the week ending May 22 to 431 in week ending June 12.

Other titles, including Parragon's World Cup 2010 Superstars (World Cup Superstars), and Terry Crouch's World Cup 2010, a complete history of the tournament (Aurum), have also enjoyed improved sales.

Interest in the England team has prompted improved figures for Sir Bobby Charlton's 2008-published My England Years: The Autobiography (Headline), up 115 per cent compared with mid-May sales.

A discount campaign at W H Smith has helped several titles in  John Blake's World Cup Heroes series of short biographies. Adam Cottier's biography of Steven Gerrard has been the most popular with sales of 915 copies in week ending June 12 (up from just 68 copies four weeks earlier). Ian Cruise's biography of Fernando Torres and Sue Evison's of Wayne Rooney sold more than 500 copies each.

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