Okay, I admit it. I have never read any of the Harry Potter books. I haven’t watched any of the movies either, although I’ve tried several times.
It isn’t that I don’t like fantasy type books and movies. I enjoyed the Lord of the Ring movies (never finished any of those books though; did read The Hobbit). Absolutely loved Mary Stewart’s books: The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, and The Last Enchantment. But somehow I just never caught the fever over Harry Potter.
Maybe I’m too much of a rebel, refusing to follow the crowd. And the bigger the crowd, the more deeply I dig in my heels. Hmm.
Got this report from Publisher’s Lunch today:
Scholastic said last night that they estimate sales of 8.3 million copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in the first 24 hours on sale in the US. (That’s well ahead of 6.9 million copies sold in the first day on sale for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.)
Borders says the chain sold 1.2 million copies in the first day, and Amazon announced shipments of 1.3 million copies to arrive on Saturday morning in the US. (Both sales numbers are slightly lower than the complete pre-pub totals: Amazon took over 1.4 million pre-orders in the US, and Borders had indicated receiving over 1.5 million reservations for copies–though not all were picked up the first day, or some customers reserved multiple copies.)
In Barnes & Noble’s just-issued press release, they counted a little differently. The chain says they sold 1.8 million copies in the first 48 hours of release (including BN.com sales), and they recorded sales of 560,000 copies in the first hour on sale alone. BN says they also sold 213,000 copies of "titles in the series and Harry Potter-related products" over the weekend.
BN reports over a million visitors to its Friday night in-store events, and Borders tabulated over 800,000 visitors that evening.
In the UK, no formal count has been released yet, though a Bloomsbury spokesperson indicated, "Last time we sold two million copies in the first 24 hours. We are thinking it might go over three million in thefirst 24 hours this time." No surprise, Asda sold through all but about 3 percent of their 500,000-copy order, priced to move at over 70 percent off.
Can you imagine those kinds of numbers? Boggles my mind. If just a small percentage of those folks would buy one of my books…
This is a crazy, crazy business.