David Walliams was the biggest-selling author of 2017, overtaking JK Rowling with sales of more than £16 million from his children’s books.
The writer and television presenter outsold fellow children’s authors Julia Donaldson and Philip Pullman, thriller writers James Patterson and Dan Brown, and TV chefs Jamie Oliver and Mary Berry.
Walliams published his first book for children in 2008 and has been billed as the successor to Roald Dahl. His two most recent books, The World’s Worst Children and Bad Dad, helped boost his sales by almost 20 per cent on the previous year.
He sold £16.57 million worth of books in 2017. Rowling came second in the list with sales of £15.47 million, as readers continued to lap up her Harry Potter books.
Donaldson was third with sales of £14.65 million, followed by Jamie Oliver on £11.44 million and Lee Child on £7.5 million.
The figures, compiled by Nielsen BookScan and published by The Bookseller, also showed that women dominated literary fiction sales last year.
Nine out of the 10 best-selling literary authors were female, with Haruki Murakami the only male.
Margaret Atwood topped the list with sales of £2.76 million, boosted by the Netflix adaptation of her dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale.
Helen Dunmore, who died last summer, was second in the list, followed by Sarah Perry, author of the runaway bestseller The Essex Serpent.
Naomi Alderman, Elena Ferrante, Ali Smith, Zadie Smith, Maggie O’Farrell and Arundhati Roy completed the top 10, edging out Julian Barnes, Ian McEwan and the Nobel Prize winner, Kazuo Ishiguro.