'Wild swimming' books make a splash

Booksellers have reported a wave of sales in swimming titles -- although Britain’s medal successes in the pool at the European championships has nothing to do with it.

The surge of interest has followed the broadcast of the BBC Four programme 'Wild Swimming with Alice Roberts'.

The show was based on Waterlog, the account by the writer and documentary maker Roger Deakin of an attempt to swim through the British Isles.  Originally published in 1999, it enjoyed a 345 per cent week-on-week sales boost in the wake of the BBC exposure.

According to The Bookseller, sales for the week ending July 31st were 149 copies before leaping to 663 copies the following week.

Other titles also enjoyed improved sales. Punk Publishing's Wild Swimming sales jumped by almost 90 per cent week on week, from 214 copies to 406.

Jonathan Knight, publisher at Punk, said: "Sales of Daniel Start's Wild Swimming have been consistently good but the recent coverage has given us a real boost.

“This just underlines the power of TV and the importance of exposure like this to publishers.”

Waterlog has enjoyed a long-term improvement since selling just 863 copies in the UK in 2004, with the numbers above 7,000 for each of the past two years.

A companion edition to Daniel Start's Wild Swimming entitled Wild Swimming Coast is also available.

For more by Roger Deakin and more on swimming, visit The Sports Bookshelf Shop.



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