Harry Potter


"Harry Potter Sales Pass 100 Million Milestone"

by Paul Majendie (Reuters, May 2, 2001)

LONDON - Harry Potter has cast a spell worldwide -- the tales of the teenage wizard have now sold 100 million copies.
The stories have topped bestseller lists around the world from Argentina to China and have been translated into 42 languages from Albanian to Zulu.
"Harry Potter books have entered the pages of history," author JK Rowling's agent Christopher Little said in a statement on Wednesday.
"This is an unprecedented publishing achievement anywhere in the world -- either for adult or children's books," the statement said. "To put this into perspective, imagine that every woman, woman and child in the UK had two Harry Potter books."
Just four days after the first page-turning Potter tale landed on his desk in 1995, Little signed up Rowling.
"Korea, Chile, Japan, Germany -- wherever you go it is number one. Maybe we are all the same underneath for it has the same reaction everywhere. It continues to amaze me," he told Reuters in a recent interview.
"Every time we publish a new Harry Potter book, the first one goes back up to the top of the bestseller list. A whole new raft of readers comes back. The momentum hasn't slowed," Little said.
Pottermania is certain to be refuelled by the release later this year of the first Potter film by Hollywood director Christopher Columbus.
The bespectacled Harry, a quaint boarding-school throwback in the cyber era of Playstation and Pokemon, has been hailed for singlehandedly teaching a whole new generation of children the joys of reading in an electronic age of short attention spans.
The publishing industry has above all been astonished by the universality of the books written by a single mother in an Edinburgh cafe in between school runs. But Rowling, now embarked on the fifth Harry Potter saga, still has come catching up to do.
The bestselling book of all time is The Bible with an estimated 6,000,000,000 copies sold.
The second biggest bestseller is "Quotations from the Works of Mao Tse-Tung" (dubbed "Little Red Book") with approximate sales of 900,000,000.