Maeve's the top Irish earner but 'Shades' trilogy takes in €2.8m
THE highest earning Irish writer last year was the late Maeve Binchy – her last book, 'A Week in Winter' sold 36,582 copies, taking in €525,925.65 in sales since its publication in September.
'A Week in Winter', which was finished shortly before the 72-year-old died in July, was published with the permission of her husband, Gordon Snell.
During her lifetime, Ms Binchy's books sold more than 40 million copies in 37 languages.
'Fifty Shades of Grey' author EL James sold almost €3m worth of her bestselling trilogy of sexy books in Ireland in 2012, dominating the chart for the highest earning writers in the Irish market last year.
The total value of sales of the three 'Fifty Shades' books in Ireland was €2,805,347.23, according to the latest Nielsen figures for book sales in Ireland in 2012.
The first book in the'Fifty Shades of Grey' trilogy had sales of €967,315 in Ireland last year, the highest ever here for an adult book in a single year.
Best selling Irish non-fiction book was retired politician Mary O'Rourke's memoir 'Just Mary', which took in €363,599.66 in sales, an extraordinary achievement for a first time writer.
The 'Atlas of the Great Irish Famine', a very large and expensive coffee table book which has been bought by libraries and universities around the world, sold out its first edition, despite an average selling price of €56.25 a copy.
This put it at Number 8 in the chart, a high position for an academic book.
The enduring popularity of author Ross O'Carroll Kelly also came through, getting him into 10th place on the list of highest earning authors in Ireland last year, despite 'The Shelbourne Ultimatum' being the 12th book in the series.
Just outside the Top 10 was Marian Keyes for her novel 'The Mystery of Mercy Close' (sales of €302,839). But she had a second book out earlier last year, 'Saved By Cake', which had sales of €84,469, so between the two she was still as popular as ever.
Among those who did not make the top 10, with total value of sales in brackets, were:
Bill O'Herlihy's autobiography (€101,709); Mary Robinson's memoir (€242,388); Katie Taylor's Olympic Dream (€160,277); Melanie Verwoerd's memoir (€96,296); Edna O'Brien's memoir (€98,499); John Giles memoir (€129,501)