Dan Brown Sets Ebook Sales Record for Random House

Posted on November 18, 2009

Crain's got ahold of an internal Random House memo which reveals that Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol increased the company's ebook sales by 400% over the prior year. In the first week alone, 100,000 copies were sold for the Kindle. That's a lot of ebooks sold.

According to an internal Random House report, sales of its Kindle e-books through September 2009 came to $22.6 million, an increase of almost 700% over the $2.9 million in revenue that the Kindle generated during the same period in 2008. The Lost Symbol was a big part of that growth. Published Sept. 15, the thriller sold 100,000 e-books its first week out, or about 5% of total sales for the book.

In the first half of 2009, Random House e-book revenue grew by 400%, says a spokesman. He declined to comment on the more recent numbers, which were disclosed to Crain's by an industry insider with access to the report. The majority of e-books are sold through Amazon's Kindle store.

Random House had sales of $1.3 billion in 2008, so ebooks are just a tiny part of that revenue. The internal report says that ebook sales are still in an "incubatory period" but that it is an exciting time.

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