Dan Brown does it again, on paper and on the screen.
Publisher Doubleday announced on Wednesday that "The Lost Symbol" has already sold more than 1 million copies after being on sale for one day in the United States, Canada and Britain. That total includes preorders for the book, which has been at or near the top of Amazon.com for months.
An additional 600,000 hardcover copies have been ordered, bringing the total print run to 5.6 million copies. "The Lost Symbol" came out on Tuesday. It comes six years after the release of the American novelist's last book "The Da Vinci Code" and follows the adventures of Harvard professor Robert Langdon in the secret world of Freemasons in Washington DC.
"We are seeing historic, record-breaking sales across all types of our accounts in North America for 'The Lost Symbol', said Sonny Mehta, editor in chief of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Knopf Doubleday is a division of Random House Inc.
Brown's book was well short of the all-time debut, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," which in its first day sold more than 8 million copies in the US alone.
Doubleday initially said the sales were for hardcover alone, but spokeswoman Suzanne Herz said the number also includes the digital edition, which Doubleday released at the same time despite industry concerns that the standard $9.99 e-book price might hurt sales for the more expensive hardcover.
Thrillers have been especially popular as e-books and no thriller writer is hotter than Dan Brown. Since coming out, "The Lost Symbol" has been the top seller on Amazon.com's overall list and on its list for books downloaded on Amazon's e-reader, the Kindle. On Amazon's list for top thrillers and mystery novels, the Kindle edition was No. 1 as of Wednesday afternoon, followed by the hardcover.
"The big surprise was that, despite sustained, strong physical books sales, yesterday (Tuesday) we saw the Kindle edition outsell hardcover editions on the book's release day," said Amazon.com spokesman Andrew Herdener, adding that the calculation did not include preorders.
Herz also declined to offer a breakdown between hardcover and e-book sales. Sony spokesman Kyle Austin also would not provide numbers, but said "The Lost Symbol" set a single day record for e-book sales, selling more than 10 times the amount of any other e-release on Tuesday.
E-book sales are quickly growing, although believed to be just 1 percent to 2 percent of the overall market.
(China Daily/Agencies September 18, 2009)