Richard & Judy Book Club to continue into 2019

The Richard & Judy Book Club is set to continue into its fifteenth year, with its namesakes having signed a contract that will keep it going through 2019.

Started by Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan on their eponymous TV show in 2004, the club initially saw ten books per year chosen for on-air discussion and features, and had an instant positive effect on sales of selected titles, comparable to Oprah’s Book Club in the USA. The TV show came to an end in 2009, but the club has since continued as a website in partnership with W H Smith, with eight titles chosen three times a year for spring, summer and autumn clubs.

The Spring Book Club 2015 is currently running, featuring: The Miniaturist by Jesse Burton; The Book of You by Claire Kendal; Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey; The Murder Bag by Tony Parsons; The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes by Anna McPartlin; Miss Carter’s War by Shelia Hancock; A Colder War by Charles Cumming; and Mrs Hemingway by Naomi Wood. Combined sales of those eight titles, when compared to last year’s figures, suggest that the book club continues to increase in popularity, seeing a rise of 60% to £4.6 million.

The news has been welcomed by publishers, with Orion General’s Lisa Milton telling The Bookseller: ‘The Richard & Judy Book Club set the standard when it was initially launched all those years ago, and continues to be a major sales driver. Launching début authors and selecting major sellers long before anyone else—such as Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl—it is very adept at recognising trends, being an early adopter and championing authors. Long may it continue.’

Alongside the aforementioned Gone Girl, the book club has championed numerous zeitgeist-grabbing books over its eleven years to date, including John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns, James Robertson’s The Testament of Gideon Mack, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun, Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife, David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas and Monica Ali’s Brick Lane.

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