Dan Brown's new book The Lost Symbol has sold more copies in its first 36 hours of release than any other adult hardback novel has managed in its entire lifetime, the publishers said.
The long-awaited follow up to The Da Vinci Code hit the shelves on Tuesday and has already more than 300,000 copies in the UK, compared with the previous best-selling adult hardback, Thomas Harris' Hannibal, which has sold 298,000 copies since it was published in 1999.
Publishers Transworld said they were on the lookout for websites offering pirated copies of the new novel, after reports that two sites had already posted material from the book.
A spokeswoman said: ''We have a very vigilant team who are constantly scanning the web to investigate potential piracy issues. If and when they do find any rogue material out there we will issue 'take down' notices.''
Like The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol features Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, and had a UK first print run of a million.
Transworld said the book had already sold more than a million copies worldwide and was now being translated for release in non-English-speaking countries.
Despite this early success, the book has a long way to go to match the astonishing success of The Da Vinci Code, which has sold 81 million copies around the world, and is the UK's biggest-selling paperback of all time.
The book's popularity sparked huge interest in Brown's previous novels - Angels and Demons, Deception Point and Digital Fortress, which became multi-million-copy international best-sellers.
They also spawned two hit movies. The film adaptation of The Da Vinci Code starring Tom Hanks was a worldwide number one hit, as was Angels and Demons, the adaptation of the first of Brown's thrillers featuring Langdon.Taken from www.telegraph.co.uk