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Nielsen announces Wrecking Ball: Diary of A Wimpy Kid as Australia’s #1 Christmas bestseller

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, 19 December 2019 – Children’s title Wrecking Ball: Diary of a Wimpy Kid tops Nielsen’s 2019 Australian Christmas bestsellers list, having sold 14,430 copies during the week of 8 December to 14 December 2019. 

American author Jeff Kinney has had his share of Christmas number ones with an edition of his Wimpy Kid series taking the number one position in the Christmas week in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. 

Nielsen Book, the leading provider of search, commerce, consumer research and retail sales analysis services for the book industry, reports that children’s titles have taken out the Christmas number one eight times in the last 18 years. And with children’s books value sales up 3% this year it’s no surprise the number one Christmas bestseller is a children’s book. 

In one of the closest-run races to the top, the Nielsen 2019 Christmas Bestsellers list saw Bluey: Fruit Bat glide in just behind in second place. Dav Pilkey, Bluey: The Beach and Lee Child followed closely to round out the Top 5 in the Australian rankings. 

As was the case last Christmas, buyers have continued to gravitate towards home-grown authors, with four of the top 10 being Australian authors on Nielsen’s Christmas bestsellers list this year. Looking a little outside the Top 10, this trend continues, with 13 of the Top 20 titles being written by Australians. Across a range of categories, Australian authors featured in Australia’s Top 20 this week were Kitty Flanagan, Neale Daniher, Trent Dalton, Anh Do, Scott Pape, Peter FitzSimons, Judy Nunn, Craig Challen & Richard Harris, Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton, and Fiona McIntosh, joined the Bluey team towards the top of the charts this year. 

Nielsen Book Top 10 Christmas Bestsellers List (ranked by copies sold in the week 8-14 December 2019)*: 

  1. Wrecking Ball: Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (14,430 copies)
  2. Bluey: Fruit Bat  (14,420 copies)
  3. Dog Man: Fetch 22 by Dav Pilkey (13,860 copies)
  4. Bluey: The Beach  (13,850 copies)
  5. Blue Moon: Jack Reacher by Lee Child (12,680 copies)
  6. Kitty Flanagan’s 488 Rules for Life by Kitty Flanagan (12,250 copies)
  7. The Beast of Buckingham Palace by David Walliams (12,050 copies)
  8. Bluey: Time to Play! (11,560 copies)
  9. Veg by Jamie Oliver (11,380 copies)
  10. Guinness World Records 2020 (9,770 copies)

*Data sourced from Nielsen BookScan’s Australian Book Market panel, measuring print book sales in Australia through its defined panel.

“The Christmas period, as is the case for the rest of retail, continues to be a key trading time for the book industry. Whilst a typical trading week accounts for close to 2% of the year’s sales, the four weeks to Christmas week itself often make up closer to 16% of the annual revenue,” said Bianca Whiteley, Territory Manager of Nielsen Book Australia. “That is quite a lift in sales when compared to an average four-week period which typically hovers around 7%.”

The Christmas period is good news for authors, publishers and retailers of all sizes. This Christmas sales week, approximately 155,000 different book titles were sold. That is over 32,300 more than an average week in 2019, illustrating the sheer breadth of titles purchased by Australian shoppers during the Christmas period. In New Zealand, another children’s author, David Walliams, topped the BookScan charts with 3,600 copies sold of his latest title, The Beast of Buckingham Palace

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Nielsen is divided into two business units. Nielsen Global Media, the arbiter of truth for media markets, provides media and advertising industries with unbiased and reliable metrics that create a shared understanding of the industry required for markets to function. Nielsen Global Connect provides consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers with accurate, actionable information and insights and a complete picture of the complex and changing marketplace that companies need to innovate and grow.

Our approach marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge.

An S&P 500 company, Nielsen has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit

Notes to Editors:




Bianca Whiteley

(02) 8873 7451


Eleanor Crum

+61 421 692 808