In the Cloud—Literally!
In the week ending July 22, according to BookScan, 400 copies were sold of the trade paperback edition of "Cloud Atlas" by David Mitchell. The following week, it was 2,273 copies, and the week after that 3,972. This past week clocked in at 3,177 copies sold. Clearly, Mr. Mitchell, always a well-reviewed and –regarded author, has gotten a whole lot more popular lately.
On July 26, a movie trailer was released for the forthcoming film based on the book "Cloud Atlas." That just might have something to do with the spike in sales.
“It’s extraordinary,” says Jane von Mehren, SVP, Publisher of Trade Paperbacks with the Random House Publishing Group. “We’ve never had a trailer have this kind of impact on sales.” She attributes this to a number of factors, including the artistry of the trailer as well as how widely it was picked up by social and other media. The book has an extremely complex plot with six different narratives which the film will attempt to interweave.
"Cloud Atlas" was originally published as a trade paperback in 2004 and received “incredible” reviews. Mitchell had previously published two “smaller” books (smaller in sales, that is, not in size), and this was thought by his publishers to be his breakout book. The decision was made to publish in original trade paperback to reach a market of younger readers. The publisher assured booksellers that they were standing behind this book, however, with a large print run.
The book currently has 305,000 copies in print, with 75,000 of those copies having been printed within the last two weeks. Random House printed 25,000 copies after the trailer hit and just went back to press for another 50,000.
Not only has there been press coverage and has it been a trending topic on Twitter, there is also a beautifully rendered website for the film, which includes an interview with the directors. The film is co-directed by Tom Tywker (Run Lola Run) and siblings Andy and Lana Wachowski, known for The Matrix, among other films. This interview caused something of a splash, marking as it did a first public appearance by Lana, née Larry, Wachowski.
As a result of all this, the book landed on the New York Times bestseller list (it is currently #10). All of which is inspiring the book publisher to ramp up their marketing campaign, as the movie marketing and the book marketing continue to feed off each other.
A movie tie-in edition will be published in October with a print run of at least 125,000, says von Mehren. The movie itself will be released on Oct. 26.