True Detective has made 1895 book The King in Yellow a bestseller

Illustration for article titled emTrue Detective/em has made 1895 book emThe King in Yellow/em a bestseller

The King in Yellow, an 1895 collection of short stories by Robert Chambers, is now a bestseller on Amazon, where it hit number nine on its list of top-selling books thanks largely to io9's article on its role on True Detective.


Top image: via Patton Oswalt, who tweeted this shot with the caption "Who spotted the looming yellow crown on tonight's #TrueDetective?"

"We can tell you that the book has seen a spike in sales after this past weekend's episode of True Detective," Amazon spokesperson Sarah Gelman told us in an email. That was also directly after io9 ran an article by author Michael M. Hughes, analyzing allusions to the book in the show.

Amazon wouldn't release specific sales stats, but more than 1,600 copies have been bought through the link in the post on io9 alone. Print sales for the book, which is in the public domain, have come in the form of print-on-demand books. These are made by an Amazon company called CreateSpace, that runs off copies as they're ordered.

In addition to being on the print bestseller list, The King In Yellow is also doing well on Kindle — where it hit number 57 on the list of free Kindle books. It doesn't appear at all on the list of paid kindle books, presumably because everyone is already getting their Kindle versions for free.


So True Detective fans, have you read the book or are you planning to? Tell us about the references to the book you've picked up on the show!

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Annalee Newitz

I would also like to point out that because The King in Yellow is in the public domain, you can do whatever you want with it. Print your own copies! Use the characters in your own stories! Fanfic! Whatever.