Publishing in general and Random House in particular should receive a much-needed boost this fall when RH’s Doubleday imprint releases The Lost Symbol, the long awaited next novel from Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown. Random is setting a five million-copy first printing for the book, which will be released in the U.S. and Canada September 15.

Ever since Da Vinci became a worldwide bestseller in 2003 there has been much speculation about when Brown would deliver his next book. After a number of false reports, Ron Howard, director of the Da Vinci movie, said earlier this year that Brown’s next book would come out sometime in 2009. In a statement, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group chairman Sonny Mehta said Symbol “is one of the most anticipated publications in recent history, and it is well worth the wait.”

The story takes place over a 12-hour period in the life of Da Vinci protagonist Robert Langdon. “Weaving five years of research into the story’s twelve-hour timeframe was an exhilarating challenge,” said Brown in a statement. “Robert Langdon’s life clearly moves a lot faster than mine.” The book will be edited by Brown’s longtime editor Jason Kaufman.

There are more than 81 million copies of Da Vinci in print worldwide, and the book made bestsellers out of earlier Brown works, most notably, Angels and Demons; a film of Demons will be released May 15, directed by Howard and starring Tom Hanks once again as Langdon.