Following on from the first part of this blog - here are the bestselling titles and surprise packages in each of our series titles in 2013. Let us know if you picked up on of the top sellers or the surprise hits and whether there were any titles on this list that surprised you!
Bestseller: ELI 191 Italian Navy & Air Force Elite Units and Special Forces 1940-45
Surprise Package: This was a book that cropped up on a regular basis in the suggested titles that we received every month - and it appeared in one form or another as a high scoring entrant into the book vote poll. So, when it came out we had pretty high hopes for how it would sell - and ELI 197 Russian Security and Paramilitary Forces since 1991 didn't let us down.
Bestseller: There were only two ESS titles in 2013, with ESS 76 The Rise of Imperial Rome AD 14-193 winning the race to the number 1 position.
Surprise Package: Not a 2013 title, but the Essential Histories Special The American Civil War: This mighty scourge of war continues to dominate the overall ESS sales charts, particularly over here in the UK. A giant of a book!
Bestseller: As mentioned previously, The First World War: The War to End All Wars came top in the 2013 sales standings.
Surprise Package: The story behind Helmand: Diaries of Front-line Soldiers is heartbreaking, so we were incredibly proud to be able to get involved with the book and were even more pleased to see the book, the families of the soldiers and the charities being supported by the book getting such wide ranging air time, news coverage and all-round good feeling. The publicity was phenomenal, and we were particularly pleased to hear how the publication of the book helped boost the John Thornton Young Achievers Foundation and the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund.
Bestseller: MAA 487 The New Zealand Wars 1820-72
Surprise Package: Well, that would have to be the book that turned out to be the bestselling title in the series, the aforementioned MAA 487 The New Zealand Wars 1820-72 - which was a big hit for the series in 2013, helped in particular by some very strong sales in New Zealand (which was also a major plus for MAA 486 The New Zealand Expeditionary Force in World War II). A special mention should also go to Armies of the Volga Bulgars and Khanate of Kazan 9th-16th centuries which with another few weeks of sales under its belt may have actually snuck into the top position.
Myths and Legends:
Bestseller: Myth 5 Thor: Viking God of Thunder
Surprise Package: Myth 3 The War of Horus and Set - this was a key departure in the series looking at a story that had not permeated the public awareness to the extent of the Greek myths etc - it was a clear and somewhat calculated risk and we were intrigued to see how it paid off. It didn't quite match the sales figures of the likes of Thor or King Arthur, but it did have a strong enough response that we are looking for the next 'odd' myth subject to publish.
Bestseller: NVG 198 Imperial Japanese Navy Destroyers 1919-45 (1) Minekaze to Shiratsuyu Classes
Surprise Package: Once we saw how strongly NVG 198 sold, we were pretty confident that the second book in the series, NVG 202 Imperial Japanese Navy Destroyers 1919-45 (2) Asahio to Tachibana Classes would claim second place in the overall sales charts. But, it was pipped to the post by an absolute classic New Vanguard, NVG 199 Tanks of Hitler's Eastern Allies 1941-45
Bestseller: OWG 3 In Her Majesty's Name: Steampunk Skirmish Wargaming Rules - wow what a year for OWG, with some truly fantastic sales from the fledgling series. OWG 3 was particularly successful - it actually made it into the overall top 10 bestselling titles chart for us in 2013 and prompted the rapid publication of the first ever supplements for an OWG book - Heroes, Villians and Fiends and the upcoming Sleeping Dragon, Rising Sun.
Surprise Package: Well it probably should be OWG 3 - but for pure "whoa - what happened there" OWG 4 Ronin - Skirmish Wargames in the Age of the Samurai takes the crown for selling out two weeks before publication. We were reprinting it before books were officially on sale - a fabulous effort there!
Bestseller: Raid 41 Tombstone - Wyatt Earp, the O.K. Corral and the Vendetta Ride 1881-82
Surprise Package: Raid 38 The Fall of Eben Emael - Belgium 1940. There was some hesitation when this book was initially suggested as a potential Raid title, as much of the combat had been previously covered in the Fortress title on Eben Emael. But Chris McNab did a fantastic job on this book, and it sold brilliantly!
Bestseller: WAR 166 Roman Legionary AD 69-161
Surprise Package: I think this book has some of the most impressive artwork of any book that we published in 2013 - really striking - was Warrior 169 Italian Soldier in North Africa. Aided by art from the brilliant Steve Noon it rapidly shot up the sales rankings.
Bestseller: The one, the only Weapon 30 The Longbow by the incredible author Mike Loades quite simply ran away with this contest. In fact, there was barely any contest. Bulls-eye!
Surprise Package: WPN 24 German Automatic Rifles 1941-45 might have come second in the overall standings for Weapon sales in 2013, but there was a really heartening performance from Weapon 26 The Martini-Henry Rifle, which managed to break into the top four (shaded out by the US Combat Shotguns title at the very last moment). Still a very strong performance for the Martini-Henry!
So that concludes our list of bestselling titles and surprise packages for 2013. A great year with some really lovely books - a huge congratulations to all of our authors, illustrators, indexers, editors, designers etc etc
What was your 2013 highlight?