Office Buzz: Dan Brown's Ebook Failure?
In a recent article on The Business Insider, the headline read “Dan Brown’s E-Book Sales Aren’t So Killer After All.” When news like this hits our agents’ various laptops and Blackberries, it’s followed by much sighing and a round of flabbergasted email forwarding. So let’s hearken back to the days of Dragnet’s plea for “Just the facts ma’am,” and find out why THE LOST SYMBOL’s ebook critics are just plain wrong.
The Rundown: THE LOST SYMBOL was released last Tuesday in both the print and ebook version. The ebook only accounted for about 5% of the title’s total first week sales. However, that was 5% of 2 million copies. No need to pull out your calculators. That’s 100,000 downloads. This phenomenal accomplishment broke Random House records and publishing records, in general, worldwide. It is by all intents and purposes a major accomplishment for both versions of the book.
The Lesson: It’s simply perspective. If you want to, you can always look at the negative. You could say 5% is chump change, so to speak, in light of the 1,900,000 who bought the traditional hardcover. We would argue, however, that 5% might only be a sliver of the pie, but it still equates to a sure-fire success for digital publishing and is a clear indication of its future.
One wonders if it were any other book besides the much hyped Dan Brown tome, would ebook customers so easily be disregarded? The fact that 100,000 paying customers opted to turn on a switch, press a button and immediately start reading a book on their screens is an undeniable indication that the market for ebooks is here to stay.