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Archive for Sunday, July 17, 2005

Publisher eyes ‘Potter’ sales report

July 17, 2005

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— Harry Potter fans swarmed book stores around the country over the weekend as Scholastic Corp. set plans to release a sales report on the book as early as today.

Kyle Good, spokeswoman for Scholastic Corp, said about 6,000 Harry Potter fans lined up around the block at the company's bookstore in New York City late Friday, as "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" went on sale.

Scholastic turned Mercer Street outside the store into "Harry Potter Place" with costumes and other regalia to mark what the company billed as the biggest book launch in history, with nearly 2 million pre-orders for the sixth book in the series.

In an interview with MaketWatch.com, Scholastic chief executive officer Dick Robinson said the company expects revenue and profit from the new book to come in close to the previous title, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix."

Scholastic is printing an initial unprecedented 10.8 million copies of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," an all-time U.S. publishing record.

The fastest-selling book in history, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," was released June 21, 2003, and sold 5 million copies in the first 24 hours.

That book pulled in sales of about $175 million and a profit of about $35 million. This year, the latest Harry Potter book will account for roughly 8 percent of sales in the fiscal year, Robinson said.

Robinson said author J.K. Rowling is busy meeting with children, but "she's probably at work somewhere on book seven," the last book in the series.

The weekend sales of Harry Potter won't be factored into Scholastic's latest quarter earnings, which cover the period ended June 30.

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