Dan Brown's Inferno: Publishers poised for biggest-sales since Harry Potter as Da Vinci Code author's latest Robert Langdon story hits shelves

The Dante Alighieri-inspired novel is already Amazon's top-selling book despite not being available until tomorrow

Dan Brown's new book, Inferno, is roundly expected to whoosh off the shelves - both wooden and digital - upon release tomorrow, its author having already shifted more than 200 million books worldwide.

Following on from 2009's The Lost Symbol, which sold half a million copies in hardback in its first week, Brown's latest book has already made its mark on sales patterns. It has already had the honour of dragging its Medieval namesake, the 14th Century Italian poem by Dante Alighieri, to the top of Waterstones' poetry bestseller list - whether because people are interested in the new novel's origin, or by mistake it is not quite clear.

The fourth in Brown's Robert Langdon series - which kicked off with The Da Vinci Code in 2003 and has since sold 80 million copies- has already received the largest level of customer pre-orders since JK Rowling's The Casual Vacancy at high street bookseller Waterstones.

The novel is already atop Amazon’s top-selling book list, beating all currently available tomes despite still not having been released. Its hardback and Kindle editions are also in both first and second place on Amazon's pre-order chart.

Chris White, Waterstones' fiction buyer, said: "This should be the fastest and biggest selling novel of the year – it's hard to see how anything could beat it. It'll be a huge hit now and throughout the summer, then see another peak at Christmas. It could well be No 1 on 25 December."

The chain's flagship London store will open at 8am tomorrow with 200 signed copies to sell to the first 200 customers.

Retailers are already in something of a price war with Tesco, Asda and Amazon are selling the book, which carries a £20 cover price, for £9. Waterstones is selling it online for £10.

Inferno has been shrouded in the kind of papal secrecy Robert Langdon battled against in some of his earlier outings, with translators kept for weeks in the high-security basement at the Milan headquarters of Mondadori, Italy's largest publishing firm, under strict confidentiality agreements, disallowed access to phones or notebooks. Security guards transported them in minibuses between their hotel and the bunker.

In his only newspaper review ahead of the release, Brown told The Sunday Times he hangs upside down to combat writer's block. He does so using a table by strapping himself to  a table in his gym, and then rotates the table until he is hanging vertically upside down.

“It does help," he said. "You’ve just got to relax and let go. The more you do it the more you let go. And then soon it’s just, wow.”

He also promised that Inferno would be his "darkest novel yet," and somewhat mysteriously dangled the fact that there's a "huge piece that we’re not talking about, that is secret and timely, that is really what is going to be most controversial about the book."

“I’ve known for quite some time that I would write a book based on the Inferno. Having written Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, I’ve spent a lot of time on Christian ideology and history.

"The Bible states that there’s an underworld, and it hints that it might not be a very nice place, but it wasn’t until the 1300s and this vision of Inferno that it became terrifying. Dante has had enormous influence on the Christian view of hell.”

The Independent's first review of the book will be online at midnight tonight

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off contestants line-up behind Sue and Mel in the Bake Off tent

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Mitch Winehouse is releasing a new album

music
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him

music
Arts and Entertainment
On set of the Secret Cinema's Back to the Future event

film
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Public vote: Art Everywhere poster in a bus shelter featuring John Hoyland
art
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Judd Apatow’s make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach is ideal for comedies about stoners and slackers slouching towards adulthood
filmWith comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Arts and Entertainment
booksForget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Arts and Entertainment
Off set: Bab El Hara
tvTV series are being filmed outside the country, but the influence of the regime is still being felt
Arts and Entertainment
Red Bastard: Where self-realisation is delivered through monstrous clowning and audience interaction
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rhino Doodle by Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)

TV
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film

film
Arts and Entertainment
Comedian 'Weird Al' Yankovic

Is the comedy album making a comeback?

comedy
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
    Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

    How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

    As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
    We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

    We will remember them

    Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
    Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
    Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

    Acting in video games gets a makeover

    David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
    Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

    Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

    Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
    Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

    Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

    Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
    Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

    Spanx launches range of jeans

    The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
    10 best over-ear headphones

    Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

    Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
    Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

    Commonwealth Games

    David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

    Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star