Frequently Asked Questions – General

  • What are the Bestseller Awards based on?

    The Nielsen Book Gold and Platinum Awards were originally launched in September 2001, and were presented to publishers and authors of books that achieved outstanding sales through the UK retail book trade.  Any one title, in all its print editions, that had sold more than 500,000 copies (Gold) or 1,000,000 copies (Platinum) over a period of five consecutive years qualified for a Nielsen Book Gold & Platinum Award.

    In 2017, the Awards were re-launched with new criteria and a three-year sponsorship from Specsavers. Following the re-launch last year, both print and e-book sales are now counted and all sales from publication (or from when Nielsen BookScan UK TCM records began: January 1998 for print books and January 2014 for e-books), are included. The former Nielsen Book Gold and Platinum Awards will now be called The Specsavers Bestseller Awards, powered by Nielsen Book. Finally, the addition of Silver status in the 2017 Awards relaunch means that book and e-book sales of over 250,000 will also now be recognised.

  • What is happening in 2018?

    On 25th January 2018, The Specsavers Bestsellers awards will take place, rewarding authors who topped the sales charts in 2017. In addition, we will continue to present awards to bestselling authors of silver, gold and platinum status throughout the year.

  • What is the purpose of the Nielsen Book Silver, Gold & Platinum Awards?

    The record industry has had its own very successful awards based on Nielsen sales data for over five decades and they have proved to be a positive marketing tool. The book industry’s Bestseller Awards are now being re-launched to reward outstanding sales through the UK book trade and to celebrate the biggest bestselling authors. Nielsen Book is THE official recorder of book sales with accurate retail tracking through Nielsen BookScan and robust data for the whole of the 21st Century. In addition, e-book tracking through Nielsen PubTrack Digital means Nielsen Book can now measure sales comprehensively to recognise true bestsellers through all editions.

    The endorsement of a Silver, Gold or Platinum Bestseller Award, marketed through online and offline channels and highlighted through stickers on the books themselves, is a recognised endorsement for consumers that will provide additional confidence in making purchase decisions, leading to further sales among those book-buyers who need reassurance to trial new authors. The Awards provide a quantifiable standard for ‘bestseller’ status for book blurbs and marketing rather than subjective bestseller claims.

  • What is an Honorary Platinum Award?

    As a new method of celebrating sales achievement over a number of years within the recording period (2000-present), Nielsen Book introduced the ‘Honorary Platinum award’ in 2017. This award is presented to authors who, while they may not yet have reached the million sales milestone with a single title, have achieved significant lifetime official sales across their entire output. These Honorary Platinum award authors will be added to the Nielsen Book 21st Century Hall of Fame and are reviewed and presented on an adhoc basis. Previous winners include Sophie Kinsella, Jacqueline Wilson and Anthony Horowitz.

  • What is the Nielsen Book 21st Century Platinum Hall of Fame?

    Each title which achieves the Platinum milestone threshold of official sales of over 1 million copies in the UK (since the inception of Nielsen tracking at the turn of the century) ensure its author/s will be added to the ‘Nielsen Book 21st Century Hall of Fame’. Honorary Platinum authors will also be included, celebrated and listed on the website. At the end of 2016, there were 65 authors in the Hall of Fame. Currently, there are 79 authors in the Hall of Fame.

  • How are sales monitored?

    Nielsen Book monitors sales of all titles on a quarterly basis and alerts publishers when one of their titles reaches the threshold to qualify for one of the 3 awards. This includes sales through high street, airport, railway and internet booksellers as well as supermarkets for print books, overlaid with e-book sales from publishers through recognised retailers.

    All editions of a book – paperback, hardback, e-book and film tie-in, where the full text is included, (but excluding audiobooks, sticker/activity books or any other version which is materially different) – are amalgamated and counted. To qualify, titles must sell more than 250,000, 500,000 or 1 million copies through the defined channels since the earliest original publication date.

  • What kind of books are eligible?

    All books and e-books, with the exception of textbooks and manuals, are included. Free or remaindered product (using the guideline for print books of selling for less than 50% of the RRP) is excluded. Exclusions are handled on a case by case basis.

  • Are self-published books and e-books eligible for Bestseller Awards?

    Any title that meets the eligibility criteria regarding sales and price, and for which Nielsen Book has verifiable sales data, is eligible for a Bestseller Award. This includes self-published titles and titles only available as e-books.

  • What about books sold overseas?

    The Bestseller Awards relate to sales in the UK only. Similar award schemes may be introduced in other Nielsen Book territories at a later stage.