Kay's book sets records

The till are alive with The Sound Of Laughter

Peter Kay’s autobiography The Sound Of Laughter has beaten all records, bookstores report.

The book - with a cover price of £18.99 – has sold nearly 600,000 copies in just two months and is set to break the 700,000 barrier by Christmas.

‘It’s a record,’ said Giles Elliott, who compiles sale charts for The Bookseller magazine.

‘Publishers in London expected Kay to sell well but frankly I think a lot of them had not quite realised that there is a world past the Watford gap, and it is those people who have been buying this book.’

Analysts believe Kay’s memoirs have been bought by many people who usually do not buy books at all.

Other autobiographies that have proved popular in the Christmas run-up include titles by Michael Palin, Gordon Ramsay, Terry Wogan, Chris Moyles and Jeremy Clarkson.

Yet other titles have fared badly, despite publishers paying handsomely for the rights. Actor Rupert Everett’s book has sold only 30,000 copies, despite costing £1million; and Michael Barrymore’s autobiography cost £900,000 but has sold just 15,000 copies – an equivalent of £60 for each one.

Click here to buy Kay's autobiography, or here for a review.

Published: 17 Dec 2006

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