Friday, April 13

J K Rowling's Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows - Set for Record Sales

First Edition Books - The Pitter-patter of Tiny Potters - Record pre-orders expected for Harry Potter

J K Rowling's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final book in the Harry Potter series, is due to go on sale on July 21, no doubt amidst much media hype again. According to UK bookseller Waterstone's and US bookstore Barnes & Noble it has received "phenomenal" interest.

Waterstone's say that pre-orders are already ahead of the record 100,000 set 2 years ago by the sixth book in the series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

In the US, Barnes & Noble said yesterday that it has taken more than 500,000 pre-orders - the "highest figure for any book in its history". So quite an achievement really and no doubt music to the ears of all concerned, particularly the publisher Bloomsbury whose share price has been taking a bit of a battering recently.

Barnes & Noble expects this figure to increase to 1 million over the next couple of months. has already recorded over 485,000 pre-orders and expects this to increase to 1 million too.

Interest is even higher this time than for the previous books, if that is possible, a) because it is the final volume and b) because J K Rowling has revealed that 2 characters will die. A rather odd thing to reveal I think, but what do I know!?

Tesco, which is now a major outlet for books in the UK, anticipates "Pottermania on a scale not seen before".

They are predicting sales of over 350,000 copies in the first 12 hours! Has the world gone mad ? And they have a "dedicated team" (if you've been to Tesco's late at night you know what that means) working to get the book on the shelves on the stroke of midnight in over 300 stores ! So stay away from Tesco stores on 21 July if you don't want to be mobbed by hordes of noisy kids. The last Potter book sold 400,000 copies in the first 24 hours in case you had forgotten.

Waterstone's also plans to have almost all its stores open at midnight. Whoever it was that came up with the idea of selling books at midnight to excited kids deserves a medal from the publishing industry!

A interesting snippet if you want intend getting yourself a copy or two,- the recommended retail price is £17.99, but if you pre-order you only pay around half that amount £8,99 from Amazon, with free delivery if the total order exceeds £15. You heard it here first! Maybe. See Amazon link on left.

Smaller booksellers have said that they cannot match these prices so may not stock the book. According to some booksellers it would be cheaper for them to buy it like everybody else from supermarkets or Amazon and then try and sell them on.

From a collector's point of view the seventh book is not such a big deal. The ones to look for are signed First Edition books of the first three books, especially the very first as there were so few copies printed of the first edition, as she was not expected to sell many and Bloomsbury were taking a bit of a gamble. Basically, they got lucky, a bit like EMI with the Beatles, who Decca refused to sign up as they thought they had no future!

If you want to invest in Harry Potter books have a look on Ebay for signed copies of the early books, especially ones that people have listed in the wrong category. They should really be listed under 'signed first editions' but sometimes people just stick them in 'children's books'. So sometimes you can get lucky. You also want hard copies preferably, that have not been read and are in pristine condition. You can check out the prices on Abebooks (see link) to see if the Ebay prices are a bargain or not.

You might also consider buying shares in Bloomsbury (BMY), they have been falling steadily now that the Potter series is coming to an end, but they might have one last flourish as the publcation date approaches. I guess there is also the possibility of another series from the 'pen' of Ms Rowling?

What will she do with all that dosh? Hmmm who knows, but she will certainly be climbing futher up the Forbes' rich list. Is she still single?

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