Harry Potter Breaks Records
On Saturday, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final book of the series, was released worldwide. It seems that, like the last couple books J.K. Rowling wrote, it will go down in history as the world's fastest-selling book.
The book's US publisher, Scholastic, said that an approximate 8.3 million copies were sold on the first day in sales. Scholastic prepared well, though, running an initial printing of about 12 million copies. The last book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, sold approximately 6.9 million copies on release day. Amazon.com reported that they had pre-orders of 2.2 million copies, for most likely the biggest order by one retailer. (That's a bunch of trucks coming to their warehouses!) UK sales are estimated to be around 3 million copies, according to a BBC News report.
Are these numbers big? That's a good question. In the first day of sales, The Incredibles on DVD sold 5 million copies and ended up selling a total of 17.5 million in the first nine months. There may be a couple higher-selling DVDs out there, but that's still near the top. An estimated 93.2 million viewers tuned in for this year's Super Bowl, which I think is interesting. It tells me that free stuff paid for by advertisers gives you a much bigger audience, but would anyone pick up a book if there were ads for cars and food every 10 pages?
Even though it seems like tons of people have copies, it only comes out to 2.7% of the United States population bought the book on the first day. I guess it must be a bunch higher around my group of friends, though, because it seems about 10% have a copy at our house.
Just for fun, I've put both of the UK book covers here at the bottom:
The UK Version
The UK Adult Version