The new Harry Potter novel was released Saturday. First day sales in the United States were staggering: 5 million copies.To put that number into proper perspective, last year’s #1 selling hardcover book, John Grisham’s “The Summons,” sold approx. 2.5 million copies…in twelve months.
From the New York Times:
Booksellers said the first-day sales of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” by J. K. Rowling, had exceeded their expectations, although many stores still had copies in stock yesterday afternoon.
Stephen Riggio, chief executive of Barnes & Noble, the largest bookseller in the country, said the book business had upstaged even Hollywood. The five million copies sold, at retail prices from $17 to $30, surpassed the first weekend’s box office for the latest blockbuster movie, “Hulk,” which sold $62.6 million in tickets in its three-day opening weekend.
Ms. Rowling is doing well, too. At a standard royalty rate of 15 percent of the cover price of $29.99, the first day’s sales would have yielded about $22.5 million. She is already reported to be richer than Queen Elizabeth II. And she plans to write two more books in the series.
I haven’t read any of the Harry Potter books, though I’ve heard they’re entertaining. And they encourage kids to read, which is a good thing.