“Steve Jobs” By The Numbers

Just how big will the biography of the late Apple founder be? It’s “the biggest nonfiction book of the year,” a publishing insider tells Fast Company.


Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs is due to hit e-readers and bookshelves and mailboxes (if you pre-ordered the old-fashioned way on Amazon) on October 24, and its gathering up the kind of pre-release press and enthusiasm usually reserved for one of Jobs’ product launches. According to one Simon & Schuster insider, “it’s definitely going to be the biggest nonfiction book of the year.”

When news of Jobs’ death came out, Amazon pre-orders of the book were just warming up, but 24 hours later, preorders had shot it to the top of the Amazon best-list, and it hasn’t budged since. Within days, Sony bought the movie rights to the book.  

Simon & Schuster, Isaacson’s publishers have been closed-fisted on doling out excerpts of the book in the past weeks, with the only pre-publication snippets being released to Gawker (on turtlenecks) and Time, for a special issue on Jobs. Today, reviews and “leaked” information from the book is everywhere, as everyone from the PC Magazine to the Washington Post to the New York Times gets a chance to reveal what they learned in their pre-launch copies. To crown off the pre-launch festivities, Isaacson will appear on 60 Minutes on Sunday night.

While you wait for your copy, here’s “Steve Jobs” by the numbers:

  • S&S originally scheduled the book’s release for March 6, 2012. They brought that forward to November 21, 2011. After Jobs’ death caused the book to race up the Amazon bestseller list, the decided to launch it even earlier, on October 24, 2011.
  • “Steve Jobs” has been in Amazon’s Top 100 List for the past 42 days. It’s #1 on Amazon’s Bestseller List, #1 on the Most Wished For list, and ranks #3 for Most Gifted.
  • In the 24 hours after Jobs death, Steve Jobs jumped from rank 419 to #1, putting it at the top of Amazon’s Movers And Shakers list, and giving it a tidy 41,900% bump in rank.
  • Amazon’s “Steve Jobs” page has 1798 Likes.
  • “Steve Jobs” weighs 2.4 pounds. In hardcover, it has 656 pages.
  • Jobs called Isaacson with the idea for the book in 2004. Isaacson began the project in 2009.
  • Over two years, Isaacson met Jobs for more than 40 interviews, and had more than 100 conversations with the Apple co-founders’ families, friends, and foes. (Steve Wozniak tweeted that he was one of them. @stevewoz woz retweeted 100+ times.) 
  • Since Gawker got their hands on the only pre-pub excerpt on the Web, their Steve On Turtlenecks story has seen 277, 349 page views and 133 comments.

Nidhi Subbaraman writes about technology and science. Follow on Twitter, Google+.