Sales of Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol fell 47% last week. It's publisher may have overprinted.
But other publishing insiders suggested that because Knopf Doubleday had printed five million copies of “The Lost Symbol” and gone back to press for 600,000 more after the first day of sales, book sales would have to reverse dramatically for the title to meet the expectations of the publishing house.The late Senator Edward Kennedy's True Compass also saw a drop in sales of 43% from the previous week. So, the $8 million advance may have been a little high in order to actually make a profit.
And with sales of “True Compass” dwindling, some within the industry wondered how Twelve would recoup the advance of more than $8 million it paid for the memoir.And there are other disappointing sales as well.
Other big titles showed mixed results. “Her Fearful Symmetry,” the second novel by Ms. Niffenegger, author of the best-selling “Time Traveler’s Wife,” sold just 23,000 copies in its first week, according to BookScan. Publishing insiders suggested that was a disappointment given that Scribner, the unit of Simon & Schuster that published the book, paid Ms. Niffenegger close to $5 million for it.However, bucking the downward trend is former Governor Sarah Palin's Going Rogue: An American Life. Though not even released, it took the #1 sales slot at Amazon for over a week after the bare announcement of its publication date.
U.S. booksellers are hoping for a reversal of the current dip in book sales.
Gerry Donaghy, new book purchasing supervisor at Powell’s Books in Portland, Ore., said he and his co-workers wondered, “How many of the fall books are people holding off buying themselves and hoping to get them as gifts?” He added, “Maybe that’s just optimism.”There's a good chance Palin will give them the hoped for merry Christmas sales season when Going Rogue is released November 17.