Just as shy, sensitive souls the nation over were enjoying their moment in the sun following the sales triumph of Morrissey’s Autobiography last week, here come the sports fans to beat them back out of the spotlight and into the dark corners to which their limpid skin is more accustomed: Alex Ferguson’s My Autobiography (which, I don’t know Morrissey, kind of seems like a plagiarised title to me) has racked up first week sales that dwarf those of the indie icon, shifting a staggering 115,547 copies in the UK since going on sale last Thursday (24 October). That’s not only over three times as many copies as Morrissey’s opening salvo of 35,000 (an apt demonstration of the eternal popularity of football over all else, no matter how musos might protest), it also makes Ferguson’s memoir the fastest selling non-fiction book since records began in 1998, comfortably outpacing the 112,000 copies sold of Delia Smith’s How To Cook: Book Two in its December 1999 first week (incidentally, in one of those aforementioned dark corners some limpid-skinned sensitive soul is currently starting a band called The Delia Smiths).
Ferguson’s book alone – retailing in its hardback edition at £25 – was responsible for £1.4 million of sales this past week, a figure The Bookseller puts at nearly 5p out of every pound spent on books in the UK since its release. It also notes that Ferguson’s autobiography has far outsold those of Tony Blair and David Beckham, the latter of which in particular is presumably worth more to Ferguson than any amount of money he’ll make from this, and could form the basis of my conspiracy theory that this whole book was written just to teach Beckham a lesson about the value of hard graft over flash.
Though Ferguson obviously stole the spotlight and then some this past week, Morrissey’s second week of sales held up fairly well, down to 26,248 and second place in the charts – a drop of nearly 9,000, but considering how many rabid fans would have been eager to snap up a copy on its day of release, not too bad.
He was chief hack and music editor of webzine Brazen from 2006 to 2010, and hosted Left of the Dial on Subcity Radio from 2008 to 2011.
He can be heard semi-regularly on the podcast of Scottish cultural blog Scots Whay Hae ('20th best website in Scotland!' - The List), and in 2011 founded Seen Your Video, a film and music podcast and blog based in Glasgow. He has a Masters degree in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow that will never have any practical application. You are on a hiding to nothing if you follow him on Twitter expecting any kind of hot publishing scoop.