There were no queues at 5 a.m outside book stores, no scramble for booking copies in advance. The scene was decidedly staid after the release of American author Dan Brown's much-anticipated new book, The Lost Symbol.
On Wednesday, the day after its worldwide release on July 15, there was witnessed no mad rush to get hold of copies of The Lost Symbol—Brown's first novel since the best selling The Da Vinci Code in 2003.
Major bookstores across the city, whose display windows are filled with copies of Brown’s new offering, sold 30-50 copies on the day of its release. Each had sold about 500 copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows —the last by JK Rowling in the Harry Potter series—on day one.
Bookstores however downplayed the so-far middling reception The Lost Symbol has recieved.
“ We had been receiving inquiries about the arrival of the new Dan Brown book since July. We sold about 50 copies of the book yesterday, which is a pretty decent number,” says Anuj Bahri of Bahri Sons, Khan Market.
Most stores have ordered 400- 500 copies of the book, which has been released in hardcover and is priced at Rs. 699. Store-owners expressed the belief sales will pick up in the next few days.
However, some admitted sales figures so far were modest.
“We sold 30 copies of the book on the first day. I think the steep price of the book is coming in the way of sales,” says Vinod Kumar, Manager, Teksons Bookshop, South Extension. Like most bookshop in the city, Teksons has ordered about 500 copies of the book.
Bookstores in Gurgaon and Noida also witnessed moderate sales. While OM Book Store in Metropolitan Mall in Gurgaon sold 25 books, Galgotia’s book store in Noida sold 15 copies.
Sources at Random House India—the book’s distributor in the country that have imported 60, 000 copies —said they were “happy” with the response the book received on the day of the release.
“Within a day of the release, we started getting new orders from across the country. We hope to sell about 1.5 lakh copies in the next two months,” says Manoj Satti, manager, product and marketing, Random House India. The Da Vinci Code had sold about 2 lakh copies in India.
Random House is advertising the book in the city through advertising at popular places such as malls, markets, airport transfer buses, etc. To cash in on the hype surrounding Brown’s new book, Random House India also released other Brown books with new jackets.
Sales figures aside, there may be some good news for the book. Those who have read The Lost Symbol say it is something to write home about.
“The book is full of secret messages, conspiracies in Washington DC… It’s Brown at his best, ” says Nidhi Sharma, 26, software engineer, who is half way through the 509 page tome.