Larsson is first author to one million ebook sales

Jul 29, 2010
Jonathan Harwood

The Swedish writer gets to the milestone ahead of James Patterson and Stephenie Meyer

The late Swedish journalist and novelist Steig Larsson has become the first writer to sell one million ebooks on Amazon in the US and is the inaugural member of its exclusive 'Kindle Million Club'.

The writer's three books - The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest – were all published after his death in 2004 but have become mainstays at the top of the bestseller lists. They currently occupy the top three positions on Amazon's Kindle store in the US and their success means Larsson has pipped the likes of Stephenie Meyer and James Patterson to the million milestone.

The creation of the 'Kindle Million Club' is testament to the success of e-readers and ebooks in America. Larsson already has one million sales and thriller-writer Patterson is expected to join him shortly. He has sold almost 900,000 ebooks. Hot on their heels are Meyer, who is behind the Twilight series, Sookie Stackhouse and Nora Roberts, who have all passed the half-a-million mark.

Uptake in the UK has been slower than in America and Iain Millar, marketing manager for Larsson's UK publisher Quercus, told the Guardian: "Broadly, the print books are equally popular in the States and in the UK, but uptake of the electronic version is much higher there, primarily because a much higher proportion of book customers in the States own ebook devices".

Sales of Larsson's books are expected to get another boost when the English-language Hollywood film versions, starring Daniel Craig as the journalist Mikael Blomkvist, hit the screen.

Away from the behemoths of popular fiction the longlist for this year's Man Booker prize has been announced, and this year the judges have chosen to overlook the likes of Martin Amis, Ian McEwan and Salman Rushdie - all best-selling authors who can expect one day to find a place in the Kindle Million Club themselves.

Among the authors in the running for the prestigious prize are David Mitchell, whose book The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet has been installed as the early favourite, and two-times former winner Peter Carey.

The full list is Parrot and Olivier in America, by Peter Carey; Room, by Emma Donoghue; The Betrayal, by Helen Dunmore; In a Strange Room, by Damon Galgut; The Finkler Question, by Howard Jacobson; The Long Song, by Andrea Levy; C, by Tom McCarthy; The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, by David Mitchell; February, by Lisa Moore; Skippy Dies, by Paul Murray; Trespass, by Rose Tremain; The Slap, by Christos Tsiolkas; and The Stars in the Bright Sky, by Alan Warner.

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