PubFight 2014: A post mortem

Before the PubFight season began, we compiled a list of titles that went for top dollar at the Fakefurt auction. These titles included well-known authors of both commercial and literary fiction, hockey memoirs, and books by funny women. After the auction, we asked you, our beloved blog readers, to vote on which nominated title would sell the most copies during the PubFight season (September 2014 - January 2015). After many intense weeks filled with trials and triumphs, regrets and “out of stock” induced tears, the results are in and it’s time to see how well you know the Canadian book market.

FICTION

At Fakefurt, bones were a popular theme in the fiction category—from Bones [that] Never Lie to The Bone Clocks, a Stone Mattress, and even bone cysts in Adult Onset. However, Louise Penny’s The Long Way Home and Jodi Picoult’s Leaving Time proved to be the hidden gems of PubFight 2015. While some may regret not betting on these titles, PubFighters and 36% of our readers were wise in choosing Revival by Stephen King as a must-have acquisition. These results have led us to the conclusion that rock may beat scissors, but lightning beats rock, stone, and bone.

Expectations:

Reality:

NON-FICTION:

In the Non-Fiction category, both PubFighters and blog readers can celebrate their good judgement. Bestsellers in this category included one retired astronaut, two hockey legends, a few powerful women, and the Guinness World Records 2015. 33% of readers correctly voted for Chris Hadfield, who managed to beat the “Guinness World Record” for most sales in the Non-Fiction category. Every PubFight season features a battle for the latest hockey memoir, but this was a great year for women, as readers said “Yes, Please!” to books from funny ladies, Amy Poehler and Lena Dunham.

Expectations:

Reality:

JUVENILE:

For many PubFighters, and 53% of our readers, it comes as no surprise that the ninth installment of Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid dominated the Juvenile category, selling three times as many copies as the second place title, The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan. While Captain Underpants remains a favourite protagonist in the Juvenile market, Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell and Sisters by Raina Telgemeier suggest that graphic novels are finding a new demographic in middle-grade readers. Unfortunately, PubFighters who spent top dollar on R. L. Stine’s Party Games—perhaps guided by Goosebumps nostalgia—may be frightened by their empty pockets.

Expectations:

Reality:

Note: Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Special Edition 2015 was removed from PubFight 2014.

Overall, top dollars and your votes were accurately allotted to some of the bestselling titles across all categories in PubFight 2014! Until next time, PubFighters, you can view the entire PubFight 2014 list on CataList or study tips from past champions with Bill Holt’s “How to Win at PubFight” and Carol Gordon’s “The Art of ‘The Comp’” to prepare for PubFight 2015.