“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” has for months leading up to its release been expected to shatter sales records. In the first 24 hours since it’s release just after midnight on July 21, 2007, it surpassed expectations, according to a press release issues by Scholastic, the book’s publisher, on PR Newswire. Initial projections predicted the seventh and final book in J.K.Rowling’s remarkable series would sell 7 million copies in the first 24 hours on sale, but early reports estimate that 8.3 million copies were sold during that period.
“The excitement, anticipation, and just plain hysteria that came over the entire country this weekend was a bit like the Beatles’ first visit to the U.S.”, said Lisa Holton, President, Scholastic Trade and Book Fairs in the press release. “This weekend kids and adults alike are sitting on buses, in the park, on airplanes and in restaurants reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The conversations the readers have been waiting to have for 10 years have just begun.” Holton continued, “The glowing reviews have been calling this book a classic for all time. Congratulations to J.K. Rowling on her tremendous literary achievement.”
Prior to the announcement from Scholastic, Border’s Group, Inc., issued a press release announcing that its more than 1,200 Borders and Waldenbooks stores around the world sold approximately 1.2 million copies of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” on its first day of sales. This makes “Deathly Hallows” the highest single day sales of any title ever in Borders history.
The company estimated that more than 800,000 Harry Potter fans attended celebrations in its U.S. stores that lasted until the early morning hours, where fans of the wildly popular Harry Potter series began the midnight countdown at Borders with “Grand Hallows Ball” celebrations. Every store crowned a king and queen of the Ball who were rewarded for having the best costumes. The most coveted awards at Borders stores were a giant poster of the cover art for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” signed by artist Mary Grand Pre, and the opportunity to be first in line to purchase the new book.
“We are absolutely thrilled that so many customers chose to spend this very special evening with Borders,” Chief Executive Officer George Jones said in the press release. “Our store staffs worked tirelessly throughout the evening and early morning hours to give our customers an exceptional experience. I am proud of the way Borders made the final Harry Potter book an event to remember in the lives of so many children and adults worldwide.”
In yet another publishing record for the Harry Potter series, Scholastic had earlier announced a first printing of 12 million copies of the final book in a series that has already seen 325 million copies sold worldwide. All six previous Harry Potter books have been worldwide bestsellers, and online pre-orders had made “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows'” Number One status a foregone conclusion for months before its release.
PR Newswire, “Scholastic and Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Make Publishing History With 8.3 Million Copies Sold In First 24 Hours”
Scholastic Corporation, URL: http://www.scholastic.com
PR Newswire, “Borders(R) Sells 1.2 Million Copies of ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ Worldwide on First Day of Sales”
Borders Group, Inc., URL: www.bordersgroupinc.com