Oliver beats Rowling in battle of the hardbacks

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Jamie Oliver has triumphed in the battle of the publishing giants after his latest book overtook JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy.

The chef locked horns with the Harry Potter writer when their bestsellers were published on the same day in October, known as “super Thursday”, when the book trade goes all out for the Christmas market.

Rowling’s first adult book took a commanding lead in the first week, selling 124,603 copies to Oliver’s 20,682.

But the TV cook and campaigner continued to sell strongly with his 15-Minute Meals book and has now overtaken his rival to become the biggest-selling hardback title of the year.

Oliver has consistently achieved colossal sales for his books with his 30-Minute Meals volume becoming the biggest seller of 2010, and his Jamie’s Great Britain doing well last year. If he were to top the Christmas chart this month, it would be the third successive year in which he has done so.

Last week, 15-Minute Meals shifted 69,111 copies, while The Casual Vacancy sold 13,504.

To date, Oliver’s book – which ties in with his TV series – has sold 373,943, with Rowling’s novel notching up 316,690 sales.