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Scholastic and Harry Potter Make Publishing History With 6.9 Million Copies Sold In First 24 Hours

Press release from the issuing company

NEW YORK, July 17 -- Harry Potter and the Half- Blood Prince, J.K. Rowling's sixth Harry Potter book, published in the U.S. by Scholastic, hit bookstores nationwide at 12:01 a.m. on July 16, 2005 and once again Harry Potter made history. Early reports estimate that Scholastic broke all publishing records, selling an unprecedented 6.9 million copies of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in its first 24 hours on sale. More than 5,000 midnight parties were held at retailers throughout the country where fans waited in line, sometimes for hours, to be among the first to get their copy of the sixth book in J.K. Rowling's phenomenally successful series. "The fact that a brilliantly written book for children just sold 6.9 million copies in the first 24 hours in the U.S. is cause for celebration, not just for Scholastic but for book lovers everywhere," commented Lisa Holton, President, Scholastic Children's Book Publishing. Scholastic announced a record breaking first printing of 10.8 million books, and retailers reported fast-paced pre-sales leading up to the release date. Given the tremendous pre-publication interest in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Scholastic rushed a second printing of 2.7 million copies some of which are in bookstores already. "We worked closely with our retailers to be sure they not only had enough books for the midnight madness, but also enough to meet the demand throughout the coming weeks as reviewers and readers share their enthusiasm," said Holton. Adding Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the total number of Harry Potter books in print in the U.S. alone now stands at over 116 million copies. All five previous Harry Potter books 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.