The surge of sales was thanks to a trailer for a film version of the novel that debuted on Apple Inc’s [AAPL +1.79%] website Thursday, combined with the power of social media.
“Almost as soon as the trailer went up, we saw chatter on Twitter and sales on Amazon really jumped,” said Jane von Mehren, publisher of trade paperbacks for the Random House Publishing Group, a unit of Bertelsmann AG‘s Random House Inc.
To cash in on the renewed interest, Random House has ordered a new paperback printing of 25,000 copies, to hit stores before a special movie-tie in edition of the book is released in September. Currently, “Cloud Atlas” has 227,000 paperback copies in print in the U.S.
It isn’t unusual for a movie version of a book to spark fresh interest in an old title, of course. What’s uncommon in this case was the speed at which a mere trailer of a film had an impact.
The book features a group of related stories that span a wide time frame and involve romance, adventure and a dark vision of the future. It didn’t hit the national best seller lists when it originally came out, despite selling more than 100,000 copies, says David Ebershoff, Mr. Mitchell’s editor. It did briefly hit the lists in 2010 after another title by the novelist was published.
The movie version of “Cloud Atlas” features an all-star cast including Tom Hanks, Hugh Grant, Susan Sarandon and Halle Berry. Released by Time Warner Inc.‘s Warner Bros., it is slated to open Oct. 26.
Strange Random Novel Quote:
“In writing a novel, when in doubt, have two guys come through the door with guns.” ― Raymond Chandler