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Stieg Larsson Is First Author To Sell 1M E-Books

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the nice-tattoo dept.

Books 122

Hugh Pickens writes "The Guardian reports that the late Swedish journalist Stieg Larsson, author of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, has become the first author to sell more than one million e-books on Amazon. The Swedish noir thrillers feature Lisbeth Salander, an asocial and extremely intelligent hacker and researcher, specialized in investigations of persons, and investigative journalist Mikael Blomqvist. Quercus has sold 3.3M copies of Larsson's books in the UK, and estimates that worldwide sales of the three novels are somewhere between 35-40M copies."

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122 comments

ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33074776)

more like he became the girl who sold a million ebooks

haha girl..

Heh (2, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33074812)

The title of his books remind me of The Flower that Drank the Moon. "Dustoff Varnya is such a brilliant director. Did you see his last film, "The Flower that Drank the Moon"? It was simply glorious!"

Re:Heh (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33074984)

Interestingly, the titles of book one and three are not really translations of the original Swedish titles:

Men who hate women
The girl who played with fire
The sky castle that blew up

or Willie Nelson... (1)

woodsrunner (746751) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075408)

I avoided reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo because the title sounded like that song Willie Nelson did for the Taco Bell ad, The Girl with the Rose Tattoo.

Glad I waited. Found it in hardcover at a garage sale for a buck. Totally awesome read.

The title of his books (4, Informative)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075552)

The title of his books remind me of

Two of those titles aren't his original titles. The first one was originally titled, "Men Who Hate Women." The title was so important to Larsson that he had a bit of a battle on his hands to keep it called that. It's a great description of the underlying purpose of the books, and kind of sad that it got changed.

The third was originally called, "The Air Castle That Exploded". I'm glad that one got changed. :)

I _do_ think it was a good marketing strategy to rename them with a common naming scheme, and probably helped bring the books to the attention of more people, which is good. I think once David Fincher's English-language movies come out, the books will experience another rennaisance of popularity. I've read all three and seen all three Swedish movies, and while the first two are quite good and remain pretty faithful to the parts of the books they cover, the third had some serious issues, I thought. The books are quite a bit better than the movies could be because of the nature of Lisbeth (the Girl) is so introverted that you only know what's going on in her head; you can't tell much of anything by just watching her do things in the movies. Also, the books are quite large, so by necessity, they had to cut major parts of the story out.

Yes, they're huge books. Read them, anyway.

Re:The title of his books (1)

tenco (773732) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076628)

Still sounds better than their translations to german: "Dazzlement", "Perdition" and "Absolution".

Re:The title of his books (1)

F.Ultra (1673484) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077340)

The third was originally called, "The Air Castle That Exploded". I'm glad that one got changed. :)

That is because an "air castle" has a special mening in Swedish (means something this looks strong but that in reality is not, hence like a castle made out of air) of which I do not know if there is an equivalent in English so naming it the Hornets Nest was probably the best they could do.

Re:The title of his books (1)

F.Ultra (1673484) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077364)

Come to think that perhaps "House Of Cards" is the English equivalient?

Re:The title of his books (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077458)

Come to think that perhaps "House Of Cards" is the English equivalient?

Yeah, that sounds right. "The House of Cards that Exploded" would still be an awkward title, though.

Re:The title of his books (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33077792)

Yeah, but "pie in the sky" is probably a slightly better translation, since "luftslott = air castle" means a grandiose and happy dream of the future, one that is all but certain to not come true.

"The Pie in the Sky that Exploded" :-)

Re:The title of his books (1)

jgrahn (181062) | more than 3 years ago | (#33080222)

I _do_ think it was a good marketing strategy to rename them with a common naming scheme, and probably helped bring the books to the attention of more people, which is good.

Ironically, it's also the same naming scheme applied in Sweden to *all* movies starring Goldie Hawn in the 70s and early 80s ...

BTW, weren't also all movies starring Dudley Moore renamed "The dude who ..."? Except the ones starring Goldie Hawn *and* Dudley Moore; I believe Goldie took precedence.

NOT BAD FOR A DEAD GUY (1)

arcite (661011) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076770)

He died mere months before publishing his first book. That is fate kicking your ass right there.

Good author, worthless time-stamp? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33074884)

What's the significance of 1M units, is that Gold or Platinum anyhow?

What difference does that make? See you at 10M, another arbitrary point in time.

Re:Good author, worthless time-stamp? (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075328)

Lets see, the Kindle DX has 3.3 GB for user space so thats about 1650 books per Kindle*. So that comes up to roughly 606 Kindles DXs worth of books.

So I'd say it qualifies as a metric ass-load of substrate. Prior to that it was all just packets.

Re:Good author, worthless time-stamp? (4, Insightful)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075422)

A better question, in this case, is how many trees were saved?

Re:Good author, worthless time-stamp? (3, Informative)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 3 years ago | (#33078868)

According to this page (http://www.ecolibris.net/bookpublish.asp) and then doing some maths, around 7250. Since Larsson's books are so big, I would up that number to 10000 to 14000. The page also says that there is 8.85lbs of carbon footprint per book... so thats nearly 9 million lbs of carbon footprint per book (again... lets go to 15->18 mil lbs for Larsson's books). Thats about 900 to 1800 cars worth of CO2. Other sites on the internets claim that 1 ebook reader = 22.5 books as far as carbon footprint goes... hopefully people read 23 or more books on their kindles.

Re:Good author, worthless time-stamp? (1)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 3 years ago | (#33078872)

9 million lbs of carbon footprint per book

Sorry, I meant 9 million lbs of carbon footprint period... Fixed that for myself.

Re:Good author, worthless time-stamp? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33080322)

A better question, in this case, is how many trees were saved?

Why? New trees will replace the old ones and the paper will bind CO2. These trees are not taken from Sahara, you know.
Making chemical pulp is energy-self sufficient (or there is even a small surplus) so trees go in in one end and paper comes out without external energy.

Do not let all those trees rot in the forest and release their CO2 and prevent new trees from taking their place.

Re:Good author, worthless time-stamp? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33080582)

Exactly. Now we know we need N trees less in the world. Let's build a parking lot.
I'm quite curious how many trees that are required to assemble those batteries used in in the kindle.

Ob. insensitive clod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33074910)

He's not just late, he's dead you insensitive clod!

Re:Ob. insensitive clod (2, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33074946)

So...you're saying he won't be eating his portion of filet mignon?

DIBS!!!

"Men Who Hate Women" (5, Informative)

johndiii (229824) | more than 3 years ago | (#33074924)

The original title of the first book is a bit more descriptive, but probably had to be sanitized for the US market. If you can, see the Swedish movie made from that book. It is very well done. Be warned, though - it is as brutal as the book. I don't have much hope for the Hollywood movie. Probably turn Blomkvist into some kind of James Bond figure.

It's too bad that Larsson is not alive to see this. His success is well-deserved.

Re:"Men Who Hate Women" (3, Insightful)

bigdaddyhame (623739) | more than 3 years ago | (#33074974)

"probably turn Blomkvist into some kind of James Bond figure" ...no kidding! Daniel Craig's been slated to play him in the movie!

American "Men Who Hate Women" (1)

woodsrunner (746751) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075602)

It could be salvaged if Ellen Page played Lisbeth and could redeem her reputation from that dreck flick she was in Juno, too. Reading the book, I imagined Lisbeth to be a mix of her as Treena Lahey and her role in Hard Candy. Was sad to hear she's no longer up for the role.

I loved the Swedish version and can't see it being improved upon. Wonder if they going to recast the location, too?

Re:American "Men Who Hate Women" (1)

hkgroove (791170) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076022)

I think Ellen Page could pull it off. It's a bit more brutal than Hard Candy and just as dark.

Re:American "Men Who Hate Women" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33078900)

I think Ellen Page could pull me off too. I'd certainly let her try.

Re:"Men Who Hate Women" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33075150)

It's a fix by the e-reader sellers. They're all putting the same title on their devices in their adverts. It's pretty obvious they got together to make this happen, just so they can get landmark numbers into the press to hype e-readers and put pressure on publishers.

What's more impressive is that many people were happy to stump up $10 for a 100k text file.

Re:"Men Who Hate Women" (1)

Brandee07 (964634) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075246)

What's more impressive is that many people were happy to stump up $10 for a 100k text file.

How is that more impressive than the amount of people who coughed up $25 for a block of sliced wood pulp?

I always figured people were paying for a good story, regardless of the material upon which it's printed or displayed.

Re:"Men Who Hate Women" (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075536)

What's more impressive is that many people were happy to stump up $10 for a 100k text file

What's more impressive is that people don't understand that you are paying for the author's effort in writing the book and for the publisher's effort in marketing the book, not for the number of bits involved. Is your favorite paper book equally valuable to you as the same amount of blank paper?

Re:"Men Who Hate Women" (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076056)

What's more impressive is that many people were happy to stump up $10 for a 100k text file What's more impressive is that people don't understand that you are paying for the author's effort in writing the book and for the publisher's effort in marketing the book, not for the number of bits involved. Is your favorite paper book equally valuable to you as the same amount of blank paper?

Clearly the blank paper is more valuable -- for you can copy it without fear of reprisal!

Marketing Fix... or liberal media conspiracy? (2, Insightful)

woodsrunner (746751) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076656)

It would be great to think a lot of people are actually reading the Millennium Series. It is a compelling series and well researched. Steig Larson made his mark as a journalist who exposed a variety of covert neo-nazi organizations in Europe. He was a frequent recipient of threats and his death at a young age was initially investigated as a murder.

From my anecdotal evidence, agree with you on this number being more marketing engineering than reality. I know very few people who have even heard of the Millennium series outside of my mentioning it. Been enjoying the series as a book I read only while waiting for medical appointments. Enough appointments that I've read the first two so far and not one person in any of the waiting rooms mentioned reading the book and a room full of nervous people tend to make small talk over any connection they can find.

In fact, the only people I've come across who have read the book, or even heard of it, are doctors and one physical therapist who freaked out her book club when she got them to read the first installment. To the rest of the generally illiterate population, they probably think it's a Taco Bell commercial.

This could reflect more on the fact that I live in Central Wisconsin: home of many of your average American hate groups and cults including Ed Gein, Joe McCarthy, the John Birch Society and the Posse Commutates (the group who spawned the recent Holocaust Museum shooting and several assassinations of Doctors who performed abortions). The whole area seems pretty obsessed with neo-nazi ideologies and tend to find it difficult to see nazis as the bad guys. Things haven't seemed to change much here from the days Herzog filmed Stroszek here roughly thirty years ago.

For example, when we moved here, the kids in the local high school were tourettes-level obsessed with saying 'Heil Hitler' and casually use the term 'Jew' as a strong pejorative. It was like banging my head against a brick wall trying to convince the principal that this was offensive. Even after explaining to him we are Jewish descendants of Aushwitz survivors, he saw no reason to intercede. Instead, the school's solution was to try and save our souls and convert us to Christianity.

Which is probably why movies like American Beauty don't even show in the local theaters. It's almost Stalinist, the tendency of so many interesting sounding books and movies to just sort of disappear -- airbrushed out of the general consciousness.

Re:"Men Who Hate Women" (2, Insightful)

bberens (965711) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075152)

As an American who didn't know it was Swedish or even based off a book I rented it on a lark from redbox because it had good reviews. The movie is quite good. I was impressed. Now that I know it's a book (just learned from this /. article) I will probably go read the series.

Re:"Men Who Hate Women" (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075256)

For those who are mystified by the above comment: There has already been a movie made [imdb.com]

Re:"Men Who Hate Women" (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33076492)

In fact, there are three movies.

Part 1 [imdb.com]
Part 2 [imdb.com]
Part 3 [imdb.com]

The three movies were also released as a six-part extended mini series, called "Millenium".

Link [imdb.com]

I've only seen the mini series and while I enjoyed watching it, I thought that was a bit short given the long and complicated story. I doubt that the movies are anywhere long enough to really tell the story.

The story can be described as a dark comic book-style action/thriller/crime/mystery with Lisbeth as the hero (young, misunderstood, dangerous) and Mikael as the normal, straight protagonist.

Well worth watching if you like the genre. Especially the mini series.

Re:"Men Who Hate Women" (0, Troll)

tmassa99 (889186) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075392)

I've seen the 3 Swedish movies after reading the books, and they are not that well done, with the exception of the "brutal" scenes. They were really creepy. The production value was really low, and only "Lisbeth" and the actor that played Blomkvist was even remotely good. The actress that played his best friend/lover was a total dog. No movie will live up to the books, so bring on Michael Bay with some 'splosions.

Re:"Men Who Hate Women" (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075962)

I don't have much hope for the Hollywood movie. Probably turn Blomkvist into some kind of James Bond figure.

I'm not convinced of that, as the guy doing it is David Fincher, who also made Fight Club and Se7en. I've seen all three Swedish movies, and the third one had some serious problems. I'd like to see a more faithful adaptation of the books. Honestly, the books are way better than even the Swedish movies since you can know what's going through the girl's head. She's a very interesting character, and the main reason why the books are so great, but you can barely understand what's going on with her just by watching the movies. Rumor has it Ellen Page is the leading candidate for Fincher's remake, and she would definitely be my first choice. She seems a lot more like the character described in the books than how they made up Noomi Rapace for the Swedish movies, though she did do an excellent job.

I'm hoping Fincher sets his movies in Sweden - Stockholm is almost like another character in the books, really (especially the second and third books).

No "ideologies" to hold him back (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33074948)

You know, I think this might be more of a testament to why a lack of ideologies preventing people from selling e-books makes them money.

So many authors have come out and refused to sell e-books rather than embracing them. With a dead author like Stieg Larsson, there isn't any ideology keeping his estate from selling books in every way possible, and that has been a great thing for them.

Re:No "ideologies" to hold him back (5, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075094)

Wow, that's pretty ignorant.

Most times the authors are against it because the publishing houses offer them a tiny flat fee and no percentage of the sales...As far as THEY are concerned, it's just one printing! And the author gets crap, which is wildly unfair given that the costs to the publishing house are non-existent.

In this case, since he's dead, there is no one to stop the publishing houses from raping his corpse.

Re:No "ideologies" to hold him back (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075274)

>Most times the authors are against it because the publishing houses offer them a tiny flat fee and no percentage of the sales

Doesn't Amazon offer 70% of the sales?

Re:No "ideologies" to hold him back (2, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075516)

It all depends on who you are and what your deal is. Generally, if you've released anything since the e-book thing has blown up, then you dealt with it in your original contract, and you may see as much as 25% of the 70% that Amazon pays your publishing house coming back to you...Which isn't bad but isn't good either.

Some literary agents have started bypassing the publishing houses altogether [venturebeat.com] which is good for the authors' e-book percentages, but bad if they want to sell paper books as well. On-demand printing may offset some of this.

If you did your deal 5 or 10 years ago, it's unlikely that you're going to get anywhere near as good a deal. A number of people who I've talked to, who've sold books that have sold more than 100,000 copies, but less than 1,000,000 copies...They're getting crap deals. Publishing houses make the RIAA look like a bunch of saints.

Re:No "ideologies" to hold him back (1)

emj (15659) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075940)

On-demand printing may offset some of this.

On-demand only works for very low volume and books that are old and sell a low but steady volume over a long time, that's probably why those people can afford to do the ebook deal with Amazon there is a steady demand for their books.

Re:No "ideologies" to hold him back (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075996)

Agreed, but your upfront is a lot lower than a more traditional printer would require.

Still, no, not a great solution, but it's perfectly within the power of the publishing houses to blacklist people who skip straight to digital publishing.

Re:No "ideologies" to hold him back (2, Interesting)

metrometro (1092237) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075288)

> In this case, since he's dead, there is no one to stop the publishing houses from raping his corpse.

Ironic, given that raping corpses figures prominently in his books. In soviet russia, the books...

Re:No "ideologies" to hold him back (2, Informative)

woodsrunner (746751) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076722)

Well there is still the dispute over his estate. He died without a will and as I understand it his father and brother split up his money and took the book rights. The woman he lived with for many years claims to have the only copy of a nearly complete fourth volume of the originally intended series of ten but refuses to let it see the light of day. Although other stories say she is working on completing it. Have also heard she somehow was able to get the film rights.

Re:No "ideologies" to hold him back (1)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075404)

If he was smart and planned well his "estate" which has been set aside for his kids, charity, etc. can certainly hold the rights and if there were instructions given as to what could/couldnt be done with his works they would follow them. JRR Tolkien has been dead a LONG time but his estate (managed by his son) negotiates all the rights for his works. That would subvert the "rape" you talk about (without giving any facts to back it up). It's a well know fact that SOME authors get very large fees for writing books. The Clintons come to mind as well as JK Rowling, they got millions. Of course I don't know if those $$$ were an advance against Sales Royalties or just a fee to produce the book. That's all super-secret.

Re:No "ideologies" to hold him back (1)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075498)

Which is why authors need to renegotiate their contracts with the publishers. The same thing happens to signed musicians who allow their record companies to arrange the digital distribution deals with iTunes, Amazon etc. They get a tiny percentage of the sales amount. If musicians take it upon themselves to do the digital distribution part of the sales themselves, and it is not hard to do (would the record company allow it? - very unlikely) they can make 90% of sales using for example CDBaby as the middleman. Why no similar service for authors? Perhaps there already is. The publishers and record companies want to maintain their stranglehold on the profits and will continue to offer contracts that overwhelmingly benefit the company and not the artist/author. The only thing the publishers and record companies have to offer the author/artist is their considerable marketing clout and budget and they use this as a cudgel to cow their powerless stable of 'content creators'.

Re:No "ideologies" to hold him back (2, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075592)

I think that, in the future, this is very likely to happen, and I think it's a very good thing.

Right now though...Distribution and marketing costs of printed books is prohibitively expensive, well out of reach of the average writer. So you've got to cut your devils deal with a publisher, and they take whatever they can get from you, up to and including all future publishing rights on all media.

Lot of people aren't in a position to renegotiate, and those people are the ones whose books are published to e-book the fastest. Those authors who are, they'll take longer because of all the negotiations.

Re:No "ideologies" to hold him back (2, Interesting)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075954)

They 'need' to renegotiate...I'm not so naive as to think the publishers would even consider it. Surely the distribution costs are minimal. It is a ridiculously simple task to format a book and upload a PDF to a server. The design quality might vary and the authors might baulk at taking the job on themselves, but really these days there is so little real editing done at the big publishers the only factor missing for the the author without a book deal is the marketing. It is the marketing that is the key to the publisher's (and record company's) control over the contracts. Disclosure: I have in the past worked in publishing but am fortunate to no longer do so.

Re:No "ideologies" to hold him back (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075732)

Then why did he, assuming he was the same as just about every other author out there, send his manuscripts to the publishers and beg for them to take him on, while they had to turn down 50 submissions for every one they print? Why didn't he just publish them himself? The reason is simple: marketing (note: marketing != advertising). Don't get me wrong, I hope we are moving away from that model, but this idea that publishers are raping authors without giving anything in return is belied by the simple fact that authors are voluntarily tripping over themselves to offer their work to publishers.

Re:No "ideologies" to hold him back (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075878)

Are you talking to me? Dude, you don't have to tell me why he submitted his works to a publishing house: printed books are still king. You're going to lose the vast majority of your sales if you don't go print.

Generally though, as a first timer (he wrote some non-fiction, so maybe he didn't have to go through what others do) you have very little pull, and you get a pretty raw deal.

Re:No "ideologies" to hold him back (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077478)

>>Most times the authors are against it because the publishing houses offer them a tiny flat fee and no percentage of the sales

I just chatted with a neat author (Maxwell Alexander Drake; http://www.maxwellalexanderdrake.com/ [maxwellale...rdrake.com]) at Comicon. We was opposed to coming out with an e-book since he was afraid of piracy, but after a while came around and did it anyway after someone pointed out to him that if people are trying to steal your stuff, that means they want your stuff. I think his royalties (~$1/book) are roughly the same for the hardback, trade paperback, paperback, and e-book. Give or take 25% or so.

His publisher sells his book directly for $5 (http://shop.imaginedinterprises.com/), this lets them avoid the cut from Amazon. (Amazon also screws over small publishers on physical books too, but the Kindle debate made the front page on /.)

I've been reading his book; it's pretty good if you like fantasy.

Re:No "ideologies" to hold him back (3, Interesting)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075414)

I don't know about that. There was a lot of dispute over Larsson's estate. His partner through many years, didn't get anything, because they never married or registered their relationship - and the reason they never did was that they were hiding from neo-nazis, which Larsson had royally pissed off.
Disputes over rights aren't exactly ideal from a publisher's perspective. I think the success is a lot about the rather extreme anti-banker/capitalist/influental people sentiment in his stories, which has hit a nerve in the current troubles. Maybe that is also a genre of fiction which US audiences has been somewhat short on, due to a generation of films sanitized from such topics by Hollywood blacklists.

Re:No "ideologies" to hold him back (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075562)

I think that it has to go beyond the story, I've read the books and thought they were good, but certainly not the greatest author ever (yeah, a lot of it has to be because translations usually destroy the language while leaving the story sort of intact) but really, Larsson/his estate has done a great job of hitting every media possible, audiobooks, e-books, paperbacks, movies, etc.

There have been some really great stories I've read that because they didn't branch out into other media types and formats, they just haven't had the success as other mediocre stories. Look at Twilight for an example. Had Stephanie Meyer shunned electronic distribution and other technologies the books would have certainly been a moderate success, but nowhere near the empire it is today. Oh and yes, while I was at Barnes and Noble they had a Twilight -graphic novel- in case reading a book with like a fifth grade reading level is too hard for you...

Re:No "ideologies" to hold him back (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075524)

Actually, that's entirely irrelevant. Stieg Larsson already was an international bestseller long before being the first past the 1M mark for ebooks, currently occupying the top 3 on Amazon's .co.uk site for paperbacks. Other best selling writers, like Dan Brown, are also available for the Kindle.

Being dead probably did help him gaining best selling status, though. "Oh, this guy had worked for so many years on his three novels, and then he died shortly after sending them to the publisher. It's so sad. Buy, buy, buy."

Re:No "ideologies" to hold him back (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075770)

Sure, but he was dead long before e-books really took off. A lot of authors such as J.K. Rowlings have come out and said that they will not have their books be digitized (of course, she recently reversed this decision) just like a lot of artists don't offer downloads of their music such as the Beatles. Artists/authors who do this generally end up reducing their possible income and long-term reputation.

Re:No "ideologies" to hold him back (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076102)

I don't think The Beatles' long term reputation is in any danger at all, compared to just about anyone breaking through since 2000. Neither do I think Stieg Larsson's long term reputation will be all that great. He's just another also-ran in the huge market of genre fiction. Better than Dan Brown, of course, but he, too, will be forgotten in 10 years.

It took this long? (1)

Just_Say_Duhhh (1318603) | more than 3 years ago | (#33074978)

I'm surprised. According to Project Gutenberg [gutenberg.org], there were 2.8 million books downloaded from their site in the past 30 days. Maybe this chart [gutenberg.org] gives us a clue - only about 5% of those downloads were in Kindle format.

Re:It took this long? (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075062)

Yes, but when things are free and memory is cheap, why -not- download them all?

Even 2 GB is a lot of memory when it comes to text files, if I'm not paying for them, why not download them for various reasons? This is important because people are spending what? $10 a download? I'll download free files till my hard drive fills up, but spending money on downloads is a different thing.

Re:It took this long? (1)

Just_Say_Duhhh (1318603) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075112)

Might be true, but look at the #1 book over the last month: The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana. It's not just random downloading, people are being selective!

Re:It took this long? (0, Redundant)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075456)

Not any more...Top 50 downloads from Project Guttenberg...(note how many are "classics" published long ago where no one gets a cut) Top 100 EBooks yesterday 1. How to Analyze People on Sight by Elsie Lincoln Benedict and Ralph Paine Benedict (819) 2. The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana by Vatsyayana (802) 3. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (605) 4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (468) 5. The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci — Complete by Leonardo da Vinci (389) 6. The Art of War by Sunzi 6th cent. B.C. (384) 7. Ulysses by James Joyce (371) 8. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (370) 9. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (303) 10. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas père (282) 11. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (270) 12. Dracula by Bram Stoker (266) 13. Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome by E.M. Berens (248) 14. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith (233) 15. The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli (232) 16. The Bible, Old and New Testaments, King James Version (232) 17. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (226) 18. Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (223) 19. Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie (221) 20. The Black Watch by Joe Cassells (218) 21. War and Peace by graf Leo Tolstoy (218) 22. A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (216) 23. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (211) 24. The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells (207) 25. Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases by Peter Mark Roget (201) 26. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (199) 27. The Riddle of the Spinning Wheel by Mary E. Hanshew and Thomas W. Hanshew (197) 28. Grimm's Fairy Tales by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm (193) 29. The Time Machine by H. G. Wells (191) 30. The Divine Comedy by Dante, Illustrated by Dante Alighieri (183) 31. The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie (182) 32. Walden by Henry David Thoreau (178) 33. Moby Dick, or, the whale by Herman Melville (177) 34. Emma by Jane Austen (169) 35. Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll (167) 36. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (166) 37. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift (166) 38. Cathedral Cities of Spain by W. W. Collins (164) 39. The Apricot Tree by Unknown (164) 40. The Riddle of the Night by Thomas W. Hanshew (162) 41. The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (161) 42. The Republic by Plato (160) 43. Doctrina Christiana by Anonymous (159) 44. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare by William Shakespeare (157) 45. Paradise Lost by John Milton (150) 46. Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (150) 47. Encyclopedia of Needlework by Thérèse de Dillmont (148) 48. The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce (148) 49. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (145) 50. Knots, Splices and Rope Work by A. Hyatt Verrill (143)

Re:It took this long? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075616)

(note how many are "classics" published long ago where no one gets a cut)

Um, isn't the entire point of Project Gutenberg to be an online repository of public domain texts? I mean, I guess a few CC titles might qualify, but the entire site is made for public domain books.

Re:It took this long? (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076446)

Amazon sells the Project Gutenberg texts for $0.00 each. They are simply using their store to make them easily available to the Kindle. I have downloaded a fair number of them, and the only problems are no chapter markers, and sometines each text line ends in a hard break, instead of letting the paragraphs flow as they should. But the same problems exist in some of the $$ books.

Re:It took this long? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33075764)

How to Analyze People on Sight by Elsie Lincoln Benedict and Ralph Paine Benedict

Ah the Schneier effect:
http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2010/07/1921_book_on_pr.html

Re:It took this long? (1)

Peter Bortas (130) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075544)

You don't want random downloaded crap clogging up the Kindle interface. It doesn't scale well.

Re:It took this long? (1)

metrometro (1092237) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075348)

It was Amazon who came up with the stats, who wants 'ebook' to be synonymous with 'Kindle', and thus puts out PR. I am confident that Jane Austin has done pretty well in ebooks over the years, but our economic institutions (and attendant media) do not have tools to value the enjoyment these books bring people. Only books which extract profit from readers are worth counting.

Heh. (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075046)

How much would it suck to write a bestselling series and die before the first book hit print?

Re:Heh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33076592)

Ask Vincent Van Gogh - or, basically, any of the Impressionists for that matter.
Or, at the other end of the scale, ask Ian Curtis (Joy Division), or Nick Drake.
Being dead is usually the quickest shortcut to success in Art.
When is a new Hendrix album appearing again then? been awhile since the last one..
It remains however a great consolation to myself that I *will* be appreciated, someday.. ;-)

 

The Stieg? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33075262)

Is this the driver on Top Gear?

All we know is he's called the Steig! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33075276)

Some say that he wrote a book about a girl with a tattoo, and another one about a girl who played with fire.

But all we know is, he's called the Steig!

A tribute to the real Stig is in the novel... (1)

woodsrunner (746751) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077016)

The lead male character, loosely based on the author, is named is Blomkvist, a wry nod to the real driver named Stig [wikipedia.org], the guy who perfected cornering with the power slide driving a Saab 96, one of the first front wheel drive cars. He'd apply the gas while locking up the back wheels with the park brake to fly through rough rally course corners and win many a race in this manner throughout the seventies and early eighties. Until the Audi Quattros, he was unbeatable.

He was my hero as a kid, which makes watching that other Stig as annoying as some computer show having a 'secret' character known only as The Woz. who was not Steve Wozniak.

The real Stig Blomqvist was a genius. His innovative technique saved my life when my little Honda broke a strut and lost a front wheel while travelling down the freeway. I used the brake and gas to keep the car under control and brought it to a safe stop at the side of the road rather than letting it flip into a hunk of twisted metal as it seemed destined. Didn't even hit a sign or mile marker.

The real story is the custody battle (3, Interesting)

Terje Mathisen (128806) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075368)

When Stieg Larsson died suddenly, and after writing just 3 of the planned 10 books about Blomquist and Salander, he left behind Eva Gabrielsson, his common-law wife of 30+ years.

Unfortunately, with no explicit will and no legal acceptance of common-law marriage in Sweden, she inherited absolutely nothing.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1240159/Stieg-Larssons-widow-seen-penny-20m-fortune-earned-together.html [dailymail.co.uk]

Terje
PS. I loved the books, read them all in Swedish instead of waiting for the Norwegian translation.

Re:The real story is the custody battle (3, Interesting)

Stray7Xi (698337) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075650)

You left out the tragic reason why he couldn't marry her. Before he wrote the books he did a lot of work investigating extremist groups, he made a lot of enemies. His marriage would have put details of him and his wife into public view and he was unwilling to take that risk. Sad story.

Re:The real story is the custody battle (1)

tacktick (1866274) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075698)

Thank you for the link about his common law wife.
Absolutely horrible how his estranged father is treating her.

Surely he is fuming in his grave seeing how she got none of his estate.

Re:The real story is the custody battle (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077042)

"Unfortunately, with no explicit will and no legal acceptance of common-law marriage in Sweden, she inherited absolutely nothing."

Unfortunately, with no proper ESTATE PLANNING, she inherited absolutely nothing. She could have been a co-owner with right of survivorship, been gifted some of the revenue, etc, and not had to go through probate (if local law resembles US law in those respects).

We can all die right now. If you care about others, be prepared.

Its a shame (2, Interesting)

tacktick (1866274) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075464)

What is this world coming to when sadistic cliche-ridden trash become the top selling e-books?
I would have thought people with ebook readers would read better written novels.

There has been a massive marketing campaign by Amazon and big chain bookstores to sell Larsson's books so that might explain it.
I heard from someone who walked into Borders and got pitched Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by an employee before he even opened his mouth.
Then the cashier asked him if an employee has recommended the book. When he asked why the cashier said that employees had been told by management to do it.
Could it be sellers are getting kickbacks from the publisher?

Re:Its a shame (2, Interesting)

b00le (714402) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076438)

Thank you. Nowhere in all this fuss have I seen mentioned that the Larsson books are very, very bad: ill-written, tedious, preposterous, paper-thin characters and highly misogynist despite their feminist pretensions. Books are like money: the bad drives out the good.

Re:Its a shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33079662)

They are worse than Harry Potter's or Dan Brown's... I don't understand 5 mio people... to be captivated by all these boring cliches

Re:Its a shame (0, Troll)

jgrahn (181062) | more than 3 years ago | (#33080418)

What is this world coming to when sadistic cliche-ridden trash become the top selling e-books? I would have thought people with ebook readers would read better written novels.

There has been a massive marketing campaign by Amazon and big chain bookstores to sell Larsson's books so that might explain it. I heard from someone who walked into Borders and got pitched Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by an employee before he even opened his mouth.

My impression too is that the books suck (never read them, but I think mom did). But the books sold in .se when the author was just a dead not well-known anti-fascist journalist. I don't think there's a conspiracy behind it. Lots of people like books like these.

e-book != Kindle (4, Informative)

gambit3 (463693) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075484)

This bothers me in slashdot, of all places. Articles that reference Amazon e-books ONLY COUNT THE NUMBER SOLD ON AMAZON. NOT ALL E-BOOKS!
Just like the earlier misleading story headline that e-books outsold hardcovers for the first time... NO. Amazon KINDLE e-books outsold HARDCOVER books on AMAZON for the first time.

There are plenty other e-book and physical book sellers out there that are NOT amazon. It doesn't emcompass the whole literary universe, so it shouldn't be written as such.

Re:e-book != Kindle (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076582)

But is there anyplace that amalgamate book numbers together? I don't know of any. I think we are stuck with partial number sets.

Re:e-book != Kindle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33077410)

But is there anyplace that amalgamate book numbers together? I don't know of any. I think we are stuck with whatever corporate PR sends to the corporate media.

Fixed that for you

Patterson did it first (1)

Fizzol (598030) | more than 3 years ago | (#33075510)

The title is incorrect. Larsson is the first to sell 1 Million Kindle ebooks. James Patterson was the first author to sell 1+ Million ebooks across all platforms.

The Wikileaks Challenge +4, Plusgood (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33076012)

I bet more people have read the "leaked" U.S. documents. What's better, their free ! ( ie. beer, not in speech given that speech is in the process of becoming more restricted in the former U.S.A.).

Yours In Murmansk,
K. Trout

Good for him (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076536)

I always wanted to write eBooks and even came up with character names, ideas, and stuff I role played all over the Internet to see what people think and how to improve my writing skills and make corrections and changes.

I submitted an Ask Slashdot Story on how to write FOSS eBooks [slashdot.org] but it hasn't been voted on yet to be a real story.

Look first eBook attempt was by Microsoft in 1999/2000 or whatever and the Microsoft Reader software and books in LIT format that the MS Reader could read on Windows CE devices and Windows operating systems on PCs. But it flopped and once again Microsoft failed at trying to do something else besides selling software. Now we got a eBook reader price war, and I expect more mega-corps to enter the eBook reader market. In 3 to 5 years the eBook market will boom as we find a standard like PDF or RTF that most operating systems can read and most eBook Readers can convert to their own format. I hope that OpenOffice.Org and other FOSS office suite programs use the ODT format or something to replace PDF,

Look I know I am not the best writer and make my own mistakes, but I learn from my own mistakes. I need a hobby as I am disabled and out of work since 2002 and wrting FOSS eBooks sounds like a good hobby and I am not trying to earn money from FOSS eBooks just write them, hope for positive feedback and positive criticism and maybe others who can join me and help make the eBook better and add their name to the credits and authors and the like. I don't even mind if someone puts their name or names before mine. I am not doing this for attention, nor notability, nor profits, nor anything but trying to help out people, esp ones just getting into the eBook market that doesn't know a lot about IT and computers and wants to learn. But we slashdotters when we write stuff it goes over the novice's heads and they don't understand it. So a series of eBooks I will write for the people without our knowledge or experience and stuff and write it in a simple way like a cook book or step by step book. I am not writing these for the Slashdot readers but those new to IT and computers who want to learn something about it and cannot afford college and other things like books on it that cost too much to buy.

If it starts a trend then blogs and newspapers and others will get turned into eBooks as well. Starting off a chain reaction.

We can educate people to balance check books and learn how to save money, how to fix a Windows machine with virus infections, beginner's guide to programming in commercial and FOSS languages, and proof of that is right here as the State of California tries to make educational FOSS eBooks [clearbits.net] possible we can write FOSS eBooks some schools can use that cannot afford the cmmercial ones anymore and this save their money by using eBook readers, PCs, Macs, whatever to read them.

More than that Nintendo just make 100 classic books for the DS series, and why not make more eBook stuff for the other video game consoles? Playstation 3 Sony claims it does everything? Make it read eBooks and synch up with a PSP Go to put the eBooks on it to make it another eBook reader.

There is hope for USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33077260)

I find it hopeful for USA that these bestsellers was written by a communist and feminist. Two ideologies that seems to scare Americans more than anything else. You don't have to become communists or femists, thats not the point, but it is good that you don't automatically reject everything that is different from what you are accustomed to.

I haven't read any of the books. My reading of Stieg Larson is limited to his political and journalistic writing and some SF short stories. I assume that his ideological statements in these books are more subtle, or they wouldn't have been accepted by people in USA.

To make me feel even better: You have a black president with one forreign parent. You havent started any new wars this year. The horror stories about US violence and torture from refugees arriving from countries you still occupy are not as bad as they used to be.

If you keep developing like this, I will, in 20 years or so, actually consider you good guys instead of the scum of the earth ;-)

Great books, OK movies, bad math (1)

EdwinFreed (1084059) | more than 3 years ago | (#33079554)

I've read all three (one on paper, the other two on my Kindle), and seen the movies. I enjoyed them all, although the books are clearly better. One thing I did find annoying, though, was the misstatement of Fermat's last theorem in the second and third books. The book (the English translation at least) has it as x^3+y^3=z^3, rather than the correct x^n+y^n=z^n. Proving the n=3 case isn't especially difficult either - it's a straightforward infinite descent proof. I'm a little surprised nobody caught it between the second and third books.

Stieg Larsson is a leftwing faggot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33079756)

S.Larsson is a former communist, a leftwing faggot who hates Israel and wants to submit to muslims. By buying his books in any form you endorse terrorism and hate the white race.
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