Bestseller Stat Shot

The Silkworm (LB/Mulholland), the new mystery from J.K. Rowling, writing as Robert Galbraith, debuts at #4 on our Hardcover Fiction bestseller list, having sold just over 21,000 print copies in its first four days on sale. The book is one of the more high-profile titles to be caught up in the Amazon-Hachette dispute (see “Is Amazon Really the Devil?,” June 9); it was unavailable for preorder on Amazon and there were significant shipping delays on the print edition, which took a bite out of print unit sales. And while a #4 spot on the bestseller list would be a fantastic debut position for almost any author, for Rowling, it’s a rather weak start. Granted, The Cuckoo’s Calling, the first Galbraith novel, sold all of 87 copies its first week on sale. But sales skyrocketed after it was discovered that Galbraith is a pseudonym and Rowling was unmasked as the book’s author. Here are the debut sales figures for each of Rowling’s past few books, including the aforementioned sales spike for Cuckoo.

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