24.09.09 Benedicte Page from The Bookseller
Transworld is reprinting Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol following its record-breaking UK first week sale of 550,000 copies, which made it the fastest-selling adult book since records began.
The book has sold 1,193,000 copies (across all editions) in the US through Nielsen BookScan US (representing approximately 75% of the market), and is at number one in Australia, where sales are estimated at 150,000, as well as in New Zealand and Ireland.
Transworld m.d. Larry Finlay said sales had also been "amazing" in India and Europe, where the book is expected to score several number one bestseller slots. "All anecdotal info is that the book is flying everywhere," he said.
Finlay predicted a second week UK sale of 200,000 copies and said Transworld was "constantly reprinting and replenishing" stock "in six-figure multiples" to maintain the book’s availability. "Obviously, the level of sales will settle down, but there will be a mountain of activity, ongoing marketing and publicity," he added.
Brown appears to be selling well across the trade despite heavy discounting online and in supermarkets. On the high street, Borders books category manager Michael Jones said the retailer’s four-week forecast sold out in the first week of publication. Meanwhile, at Totnes Bookshop in Devon, Nigel Jones said the shop had sold out of its initial subscription of 30 copies and was ordering more.
At Daunt Books in London, James Daunt said he had sold more than 100 at full price. "We’re selling more than I would have expected," he said.
Finlay said that the heavy discounting, which saw The Lost Symbol (r.r.p. £18.99) sold for as little as £4.99, with an average price last week of £8.27 (discount 56.5%), was "strange to see and deeper than it needed to be", commenting: "What would it have sold without it? Fewer, but how many fewer, I don’t know.