Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol (Bantam Press) sold 550,946 copies in its first five days on sale, making the The Da Vinci Code follow-up the fastest-selling adult book since records began.
Doubleday announced on 23 September 2009 that since The Lost Symbol went on sale last Tuesday it has sold more 2 million copies of the English language edition worldwide. The total includes hardcover, audio and e-book formats. Doubleday said Symbol sales were the biggest one-week sale in parent company Random House history for a single title. Doubleday said that in addition to setting one-day sales records for RH in the U.S. Canada and the U.K., the novel set first-day sales records at accounts in over 60 territories around the world.
Buoyed by a numerous deep-discounted offers at UK book retailers, and substantial pre-orders, the conspiracy thriller has smashed the previous hardback adult novel sales record already—set by Thomas Harris’ Hannibal (Heinemann), which sold 299,000 copies in its lifetime.
Just shy of £4.6m was spent on The Lost Symbol, with the numerous deep-discounted offers helping to plunge its average selling price through Nielsen BookScan’s Total Consumer Market last week to just £8.27—56.5% off its £18.99 r.r.p.
It is the 53rd week Brown has topped the UK bestseller lists, following the two weeks Angels and Demons spent at the summit of the Official UK Top 50 earlier this year, and the 50 weeks The Da Vinci Code (both Corgi) spent on pole position between 2004 and 2006.
J K Rowling is the only other author to have enjoyed a weekly sale above 500,000 since BookScan records began in 1998, and still holds the all-time fastest-selling sales record. Her final Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Bloomsbury), sold a staggering 2.6 million copies across its adult and children’s editions in its first 24-hours on sale back in July 2007.
In total, £34.9m was spent at UK book retailers last week, according to Nielsen data, up 17.8% week on week and up 12.1% on the same week last year, when Christopher Paolini’s Brisingr (Doubleday) topped the charts with a 41,028 sale.
Thirteen pence in every pound spent at UK book retailers last week went towards a copy of The Lost Symbol—a book that sold 77 copies every 60 seconds, on average, during the five days it was on sale last week.
The book also proved popular at independent bookshops, topping this week’s Independent Retail chart.
Transworld has confirmed that it will have 1.25m copies in print by the end of this week.
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