E-book Sales of ‘The Lost Symbol’ Rival Print Sales

September 23rd, 2009

I’m occasionally forwarded the e-newsletter of the Canadian Booksellers Association. It’s very good. While I suspect you must be a member to receive it regularly there’s some implication that an email to Ms. Sinkins (esinkins@cbabook.org) may produce a subscription. From the September 22, 2009 edition:

An item from last Thursday in The Bookseller UK revealed: “The Kindle version of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbolis outselling the print version, according to Amazon.com’s own chart. The Mystery & Thrillers chart, which is updated hourly, combines both print and Kindle editions, with Kindle-watchers reporting since yesterday that the Kindle edition has been ahead of the print version.” In related news, sales of the digital version via Shortcovers have set a one-day record for the e-book service, according to Publishers Weekly who reports: “sales of the title have already surpassed total sales of the Twilight series that Shortcovers has been selling for six weeks and which had been its bestselling e-books.” While most of the orders were placed via the web, the item breaks down the mobile purchases this way: “37% iPhone, 31% Palm Pre, 29% Blackberry, 3% Android.”

My first comment: the technology appears a match for the literature held within.

My second comment: If this is true, I’ve got to rethink my oppositional position to the future of eBooks. What an unpleasant prospect! But I’ll track this and change my tune from minor to major, and say goodbye, if such is required.

Update September 25, 2009: From The Silicon Insider:

The first week tally is in for Dan Brown’s “The Lost Symbol”. The verdict for the Kindle? Nothing special.

“The Lost Symbol” sold just 100,000 in e-books format according to Doubleday. Overall Doubleday sold 2 milllion copies. The 5% ratio of e-books to print is about in-line with the average for book sales.

The first day sales of “The Lost Symbol” were better on the Kindle than in print for Amazon, so if there’s good news for the young e-book industry, it’s that people like to buy books right away on their Kindles. Other than that, there’s nothing much to crow about.