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Solo's sales figures


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#1 glidrose

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 09:16 PM

"[...] the release of William Boyd's James Bond novel Solo was greeted by wall-to-wall coverage in the press.

But the hype has failed to translate into record sales for the book franchise, according to figures from trade publication The Bookseller.

 

"Solo shifted 8,692 copies in its first week on sale. Such a figure for a hardback fiction title would be the envy of many publishers, but the Boyd novel's opening week sales are 48 per cent down on the equivalent frame for Jeffery Deaver's 2011 Bond thriller, Carte Blanche.

 

"In 2008, Sebastian Faulks's Devil May Care, released to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Bond creator Ian Fleming, sold 44,093 copies in four days.

 

"Boyd's sales, however, mark a personal best for the author in the hardback format. He'd previously scored a 5,743 seven-day figure with Waiting for Sunrise last year."

 

http://www.independe...ks-8853712.html

 

(The article implies that Deaver's book sold approximately 16000 copies its first week.)



#2 Dustin

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 10:12 PM

Apples and oranges. Boyd's own fanbase is completely different from Jeffery Deaver's, also in a different - and smaller - niche. And still figures for SOLO are significantly higher than WAITING FOR SUNRISE's.    



#3 glidrose

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 10:36 PM

Apples and oranges. Boyd's own fanbase is completely different from Jeffery Deaver's, also in a different - and smaller - niche. And still figures for SOLO are significantly higher than WAITING FOR SUNRISE's.


...but significantly lower than DMC's.

#4 Dustin

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 07:08 AM

True. But that one had Fleming's centenary going for it, with numerous events that spread over the whole year, each report providing free publicity for DMC. It was treated like a small national holiday and almost as if Faulks had been the very first writer since Fleming himself to even think of picking up the pen and write another Bond story. And as most of the public wasn't aware of Amis's, Gardner's and Benson's efforts the reports omitting them were not called out prominently.

Today a lot of that 'major event' character is gone. Bond novels are still given some heavy PR treatment, but it's really not as if countdowns are set for the release. Yes, we of course are waiting eagerly, but the general public - and that's the target buyers for IFP, not just the 'fans' of Bond or Boyd - will often learn about a new Bond novel by chance: an ad, a display at their bookseller, a 'you might like' on Amazon. Add to that the somewhat unlucky decision to release on the same day as Stephen King and those figures - are they really that disappointing? - are the result.

#5 saint mark

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 08:13 AM

Having read SOLO and now being 100 pages into the new King, I already dare to say which book is better value for money.

 

Hint: it is not being published by Jonathan Cape!

 

With a lot of releases around of interesting books this new 007 outing was surprisingly coming in under the radar. People were already poised by the new KING simply because of the campain starting way back. Even the new Donna Tartt get more attention through effective PR. Jonathan Cape kind of fumbled the ball on this release imho.



#6 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 08:48 AM

The release date has definitely hurt the sales.  

 

Apart from that, I will take a commercially unsuccessful but otherwise great Bond novel over DMC any day.

 

Right now, of course, I´m only into the second chapter of SOLO - but I already prefer it to DMC which felt like a crazy parody to me.



#7 tdalton

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 10:26 AM

The release date has definitely hurt the sales.  

 

 

I would definitely agree with this.  Going up against a true literary event in Doctor SleepSolo was always going to have an uphill battle on its hands in terms of its sales figures.  Add to that the fact that there are probably a good number of Bond fans (and readers in general) who are a bit weary of diving into Solo after the last few dismal efforts at resurrecting the literary James Bond, it's no surprise that the numbers are a bit off from the last couple of Bond novels.  



#8 Dustin

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 10:40 AM

Stephen King was always going to steal some thunder from other releases; I suspect the other heavyweights coming out with DOCTOR SLEEP and SOLO may have experienced a sleight dent in their figures, too.



#9 Loomis

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 12:51 PM

It was treated like a small national holiday and almost as if Faulks had been the very first writer since Fleming himself to even think of picking up the pen and write another Bond story. And as most of the public wasn't aware of Amis's, Gardner's and Benson's efforts the reports omitting them were not called out prominently.
 

Ah, but five years on and it's: Sebastian who? There's no mention of DEVIL MAY CARE or any of the other continuation novels on the jacket of SOLO or on any of the pages surrounding the main body of text. On the other hand, all the works of Fleming are listed.



#10 Dustin

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 01:05 PM

 

It was treated like a small national holiday and almost as if Faulks had been the very first writer since Fleming himself to even think of picking up the pen and write another Bond story. And as most of the public wasn't aware of Amis's, Gardner's and Benson's efforts the reports omitting them were not called out prominently.
 

Ah, but five years on and it's: Sebastian who? There's no mention of DEVIL MAY CARE or any of the other continuation novels on the jacket of SOLO or on any of the pages surrounding the main body of text. On the other hand, all the works of Fleming are listed.

 

 

 

I'm currently on page 119 & so far liking what I've read, but I will first finish before I go any deeper into SOLO here.

 

But it's indeed odd how little 'corporate identity' IFP seem to want to invest in their present product. With every new entry in a series/franchise you are usually reminded about all the other instalments; not so here. The opportunity to give the backlist sales a boost is largely ignored. Were it not for Boyd himself mentioning Faulks and a few reports going deeper into the resurrection of 2006 and onwards Faulks and Deaver would already have shared the fate of Gardner and Benson. And Pearson, evidently.   



#11 FOX MULDER

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 05:47 PM

I think the general public (not the fans) have had enough of Bond for now. SKYFALL was less than a year ago, and was a huge event.

 

Deaver's book came out three years after the previous Bond film (Quantum of Solace, 2008), so people were more hungry for it.



#12 glidrose

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 10:33 PM

Solo debuted at #17 in the UK. Among hardcover adult fiction titles it's #3.

http://www.thebookse...com/node/218740

The bookseller has another article claiming that "more than 300 hardback books were officially published on Thursday last week — more than four times the daily average of 2013 thus far — with 24 generating revenue of more than £10,000 at UK book retail outlets in just three days."

Other posters here keep harping on King's novel "Doctor Sleep", but there's also a new Bernard Cornwell novel. And the big seller this week also happened to published on the same day as Solo: "David Walliams' new children's novel, Demon Dentist (HarperCollins), has become the fastest-selling children's book of the year. The book, released on one of the biggest days in the 2013 publishing calendar (26th September), sold 29,002 copies in the UK last week."

http://www.thebookse...on-dentist.html

 

True. But that one had Fleming's centenary going for it, with numerous events that spread over the whole year, each report providing free publicity for DMC.


...and a Bond film released that year.

Some may argue that Bond got oversaturated last year via SF and so there may be some Bond-interest burnout going on right now.

#13 Loomis

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 10:57 PM


Some may argue that Bond got oversaturated last year via SF and so there may be some Bond-interest burnout going on right now.

 

Not sure how SKYFALL would have "oversaturated" Bond. I'd have thought that it had made Bond bigger than ever.

 

Perhaps one might suspect Bond-interest burnout if there'd been two Bond films since QUANTUM OF SOLACE, neither of which had enjoyed SKYFALL's remarkable level of commercial and critical success, and if there'd also been a new continuation novel released every year (to diminishing returns) since DEVIL MAY CARE.



#14 marktmurphy

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 11:59 PM

The publicity campaign seemed quite a bit smaller this time to me. DMC had an insanely huge launch, CB's was slightly reduced; I didn't see a great amount about SOLO but even so, plenty of ad billboards and a good press launch event.



#15 glidrose

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 12:28 AM

http://www.thebookse...com/node/219392

 

Solo drops to #22 in its second week (UK). It's still #3 on the UK hardcover fiction list.



#16 Dustin

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 06:07 AM

I wonder how it does as eBook?

#17 OmarB

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 02:03 PM

 

 

It was treated like a small national holiday and almost as if Faulks had been the very first writer since Fleming himself to even think of picking up the pen and write another Bond story. And as most of the public wasn't aware of Amis's, Gardner's and Benson's efforts the reports omitting them were not called out prominently.
 

Ah, but five years on and it's: Sebastian who? There's no mention of DEVIL MAY CARE or any of the other continuation novels on the jacket of SOLO or on any of the pages surrounding the main body of text. On the other hand, all the works of Fleming are listed.

 

 

 

I'm currently on page 119 & so far liking what I've read, but I will first finish before I go any deeper into SOLO here.

 

But it's indeed odd how little 'corporate identity' IFP seem to want to invest in their present product. With every new entry in a series/franchise you are usually reminded about all the other instalments; not so here. The opportunity to give the backlist sales a boost is largely ignored. Were it not for Boyd himself mentioning Faulks and a few reports going deeper into the resurrection of 2006 and onwards Faulks and Deaver would already have shared the fate of Gardner and Benson. And Pearson, evidently.   

 

 

I disliek that too.  They list Ian's books but non of the others.  Could give all the books a nice boost in sales if they included a mention.



#18 glidrose

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 08:18 PM

Solo is also #3 on the Sunday Times (London) bestseller list, behind the King and Cornwall novels.

#19 OmarB

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 11:38 AM

I  think the King release muddying the waters is not a real issue, rather an excuse.  I wouldnt have known a new King novel was out unless you guys mentioned it.  He is a pretty dreadful writer in my opinion.  I did buy Terry Goodkind's new novel the same time I got Solo though.  



#20 Dustin

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 02:00 PM

Oh, but that's not really the point, it's perfectly OK if one doesn't like King and therefore doesn't read him. It's just pretty unlikely any Bond novel could surpass a King novel in terms of sold copies when they are released on the same day. Same with Forsyth, Follett and a number of others. It's not so much that one is stealing the audience from the others - if I decide I want to read a Paul Auster, a Stephen King and a William Boyd novel I just do so nowadays - but the fact the main sales of these books come from the 'mainstream' segment of the market, not their respective genre roots. King is read by millions of readers, and a big number amongst them wouldn't identify themselves as 'fantasy' or 'horror' readers. It's much the same with Forsyth, whose books tend to appeal also to people who only have a cursory interest in thrillers.



#21 OmarB

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 03:15 PM

Great, you have made my point for me.  If one does not relate to the other then why are there so many references to King's release on the same day?  It cannot be both ways.  As I mentioned I got Solo and Goodkind's The Third Kingdom the same time so one reelase does not make a person choose.  If I read King I would have gotten all 3.

 

The thing is Solo was badly promoted on top of them picking pretty badly when it came to an author from a name standpoint and after reading it from a writing standpoint he is pretty poor too.  Faulks was a name, Deaver an even bigger name.  Coming into this I didn't know Boyd, never read any of his work (btu I had read Faulks and Deaver) so my one experience with him has soured me.



#22 Dustin

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 04:05 PM

Great, you have made my point for me.  If one does not relate to the other then why are there so many references to King's release on the same day?  It cannot be both ways.  As I mentioned I got Solo and Goodkind's The Third Kingdom the same time so one reelase does not make a person choose.  If I read King I would have gotten all 3.

 

 

Oh, but that was not what I meant there. With King and Forsyth out the same day those two pretty much had the first two slots booked, and that months in advance. Sales figures today are largely made up of advance orders of the big chains - Smith's, Waterstone's, Amazon of course - not so much by actual copies going over the counter. And with such competition I'd speculate every Smith's would order the King outing - with some backlist - roughly ten times as much as SOLO copies. It's not so much about what you prefer to read as about what Smith's know from experience their customers will want to read. Considering the circumstances I find it even quite a bit astonishing SOLO came up third in that Sunday Times list glidrose mentioned earlier. I'd still like to learn how SOLO does on the eBook market and what the relation eBooks to print for SOLO is.  

 

 

 

 

The thing is Solo was badly promoted on top of them picking pretty badly when it came to an author from a name standpoint and after reading it from a writing standpoint he is pretty poor too.  Faulks was a name, Deaver an even bigger name.  Coming into this I didn't know Boyd, never read any of his work (btu I had read Faulks and Deaver) so my one experience with him has soured me.

 

I think the promotion isn't really much of a factor there. I don't read a book just because it's stuffed down my throat a hundred times on the telly or in an add campaign. What these things provide is awareness ('Hey, there's a new enter-favourite-author-here, let's go and get it!'), not a general surrender to the Consume!-onslaught. SOLO got a very nifty cross-promotion at The Dorchester and some kind of Jensen event with copies being sent to various spots around the globe. Those events are effectively very much made for fans - that would supposedly be us here - adding to the public profile, but only ever so slightly. The posters in the tube are a lot cheaper and a lot more effective, I should expect.

 

Boyd is a very good name in his own right - check out AN ICE CREAM WAR or ANY HUMAN HEART one day - but he isn't a producer of relentless action-packed pageturners. I dare say Boyd is the kind of writer Fleming would have liked to be, had he progressed further into the literary realm. That said I don't consider SOLO one of his best works, especially not for a first-time Boyd experience.


Edited by Dustin, 14 October 2013 - 04:36 PM.


#23 glidrose

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 08:52 PM

http://www.thebookse...com/node/220353

 

Solo drops out of the top 50 in its third week (UK).



#24 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 09:19 AM

Several reasons for that (to speculate on):

 

- after the huge PR attention for anything Bond-related around last year´s anniversary and SKYFALL, one year later audiences are a little Bond-ed out and not that interested

 

- the timing of the release made the book fight an uphill battle against high profile titles (i.e. DOCTOR SLEEP)

 

- the book did not deliver what a majority wanted to find in a new Bond novel 



#25 S K Y F A L L

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 06:40 PM

I still haven't bought mine yet, so look out for that sales bump. 



#26 billy007

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 05:08 AM

Has a 007 continuation novel made a best seller list?
In any format -Hardback,trade paperback,paperback, electronic?

#27 Dustin

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 06:19 AM

The early Gardners, LICENCE RENEWED through ROLE OF HONOUR I think, used to make the NYT list. Then came a long period that saw 007's adventures mostly below the public radar. I'm not sure but I seem to remember Charlie Higson's Young Bond once more reached bestseller status with the young readers market. That apart the only entries making the bestseller lists after the first continuation by Kingsley Amis - for a time - were DEVIL MAY CARE, CARTE BLANCHE and SOLO.

Edited by Dustin, 21 October 2013 - 06:21 AM.


#28 billy007

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 08:17 AM

So none of the Bensons'?

#29 Dustin

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 11:38 AM

I really can't tell. It would also depend what you'd define as 'made the best seller lists'. I'm sure most Bond continuations will have shown up on such lists, only not in the top ten or top fifty. They certainly sold, just not as much as they used to in the sixties. 



#30 Roebuck

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 06:00 PM

They certainly sold, just not as much as they used to in the sixties. 

 

Here’s a link to one of my all-time favourite CBN posts, where Jim points out Raymond Benson was outsold by a book on badgers.  :D

 

http://debrief.comma...ing-bond/page-4

 

Never cared for Benson.






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