Steve Jobs Bio Scores Biggest Debut of the Year

Steve Jobs Book Cover by Walter Isaacson - P 2011

The book sells 379,000 copies -- biggest first week sales since November 2010 -- and could be on track to be No. 1 highest selling of 2011.

Steve JobsWalter Isaacson’s biography of the late Apple co-founder, sold more than 379,000 copies in its first six days of on the market, according to a report in the British magazine The Bookseller using figures provided by Nielsen BookScan.

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Steve Jobs, published by Simon & Schuster, had the best debut week since November 2010, when The Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth by Jeff Kinney and Decision Points by George W. Bush both sold in excess of 430,000 copies in the first week.  The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, published by Abrams, went on to sell 3.3 million copies in 2010 and Decision Points, published by Crown, 2.6 million copies.

Isaacson’s book outsold the week’s other high-profile debut—John Grisham’s The Litigators (Random House)—by a margin greater than three to one.  According to The BooksellerSteve Jobs is already the year’s 18th bestselling book, just ahead of Grisham's The Confession.

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The Bookseller also reported the United Kingdom sales for Steve Jobs, published by Little, Brown in the UK, at 37,645 copies for the first week, making it the fifth bestselling debut of  biography or memoir in the UK since BookScan began in 1998 . 

The official numbers underestimate the actual sales of Steve Jobs. Calculating book sales is notoriously difficult. Nielsen BookScan only covers about three-quarters of U.S. book sales.  But since it relies on point-of-sale data, the data it collects is highly accurate.  Factoring in the missing retail outlets, first week sales for Steve Jobs likely exceed 500,000.