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Scholastic in Final Stages of Printing and Distributing 10.8 Million Copies of Harry Potter

Press release from the issuing company

NEW YORK, July 1 -- Scholastic Inc., the global children's publishing and media company, announced today that the Company is in the final stages of printing and shipping 10.8 million copies of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince -- filling more than 600 trucks -- in preparation for the biggest book release in history. Over 5,000 stores including independent bookstores, national chains and mass market retailers nationwide are holding midnight parties to celebrate the 12:01 a.m. July 16th release date of J.K. Rowling's sixth book. "The Harry Potter phenomenon is bigger than ever," said Barbara Marcus, Executive Vice President, Scholastic. "The Scholastic team coordinates a mammoth logistical and security effort so that fans can all come to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at the same time and discover the magic and mystery of the new book in a nationwide shared reading experience. Fans and retailers are counting the minutes until 12:01 a.m. on July 16th." The Scholastic website, http://www.scholastic.com/harrypotter, has a comprehensive online guide to midnight parties throughout America organized by city and state so fans can search for a celebratory party in their community. The growing list of parties is continually updated as retailers report their plans. Scholastic has worked closely with all of its retailers to help plan and publicize their midnight parties. The Company shipped over 5.5 million temporary tattoos for stores to give away and 40,000 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince five-foot tall countdown clock standees were sent to retailers across the country. The Jumbotron in New York's Times Square will serve as the official countdown clock on July 15. Marcus added, "What we are hearing from the retailers is that those who didn't have a midnight party last time are planning one, and those who held one last time are making it even bigger and better." The fastest-selling book in history, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J.K. Rowling's fifth Harry Potter book, was released on June 21, 2003 with a first printing of 6.8 million. It sold 5 million copies in the first 24 hours. All five Harry Potter books, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, as well as Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, have been number one bestsellers in the United States, Britain, and around the world. The American editions of the Harry Potter books are published under Scholastic's Arthur A. Levine imprint.