Lisbeth Salander's Big Payday

Half-year numbers indicate that Random House has benefitted handsomely from the Stieg Larsson hysteria, CEO Markhus Dohle says in the memo posted on GalleyCat. Parent company Bertelsmann reported a “surge of profits” in a release, and in the memo Dohle claims the publishing house was a “significant contributor” to the uptick.

Random House has doubled its profits and increased worldwide sales 8 percent in the first half of 2010 — with no small thanks to the enormous sales of Larsson’s three Millennium Trilogy crime novels. Dohle doesn’t hide his glee at how readers have embraced Larsson’s books, which are published by Random House in Germany and the United States. In those countries alone, the company has shilled a cumulative 6.5 million physical, electronic and audio copies, a figure Dohle says had a “substantial” impact on the entire company’s first-half numbers.

He doesn’t forget to mention that Larsson is the first author to sell a million e-books for the Kindle. As a result, Random House is “so excited” about its “robust digital-publishing momentum.” 

The memo also lists the upcoming releases that could maintain the publishing house’s winning streak, including George W. Bush’s memoir Decision Points, out Nov. 8. We’ll have to wait and see if Bush’s portrayal of himself can prove as popular as Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander.