J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter, and Consumer Domination

Check this out… J.K. Rowling owns 8 of the top 14 spots in this week’s best-seller list with her seven Harry Potter titles, including Deathly Hallows and the $65 Deathly Hallows “deluxe” edition in slots #1 and #3, respectivey. Here’s how it breaks down:

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Deluxe Edition
4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
6. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
9. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
13. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
14. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Guesstimating an average price of $20 per copy (list price was $34.99, but it was available from many merchants for substantially less) the 8.3 million copies of Deathly Hallows that sold in the first 24 hours translates into $166 million in sales. In one day. Amazing.

So… Did you buy yourself a copy? We did. We pre-ordered from Amazon and had it delivered to our door on release day. In the days since, my wife and I have spent the evening curled up on the couch with kids taking turns reading chapters aloud.

12 Responses to “J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter, and Consumer Domination”

  1. Anonymous

    Wow! That is amazing revenue in one single day. One of these days, I am going to have to trade a finance book out for a Harry Potter book.

  2. Anonymous

    I’ve never seen a book series like this sell so well. Do you think there will be another book in the future that will sell just as much?

  3. Anonymous

    You really think J.K. Rowling needs any more money? Seriously? THAT’s your rationale for buying the book? According to this blog entry Ms. Rowling is approaching 10 million copies sold of the hardcover version of Deathly Hallows, and I’m sure she’ll sell millions more. That’s not counting the movies and other licensing revenue.

    I’d consider it a waste to see most of those books collecting dust or being thrown out after the purchaser is done with them.

    Do you consider it “begrudging” a filmmaker money if you rent the movie or borrow it from the library instead of buying your own copy? Am I begrudging poor George Lucas when I borrow Star Wars Clone Wars at the library?

    A lot of those “overpaid, overpromoted athletes and starlets” were poor before they had their success. And to their fans, they are likely providing just as much entertainment value as you’re enjoying from the Harry Potter books. What makes them any less worthy?

  4. Anonymous

    I’m not one to begrudge an author money for writing a book, and certainly not a former welfare mother who has written a wonderful series like Harry Potter–not in this age of overpaid, overpromoted athletes and starlets. I tend to read books from the library or purchase them at garage sales, but for Harry, I made an exception.

  5. Anonymous

    Nope–being my cheap self, and not desperate to be the first on the block to read it, I decided to wait. I figure there’ll be a flood of copies available very soon. I’ll check the library first, but if the waiting list is too long I have a feeling there will be lots of cheap used copies available soon.

    In a similar vein, I just recently bought a PS2. Not PS3, PS2–with about a hundred games, for a few hundred dollars. Any games that aren’t fun or we tire of, we can probably sell back for about what we paid. Sure beats shelling out a few hundred for just the console and controllers, plus $40 a game or whatever the new ones go for.

    Consider me a “beneficiary” of consumer domination.

  6. Anonymous

    I ordered the book (amazon) for my dad for Father’s Day, and it was delivered on release day. Fortuantely, one of my friends lent me the book so I didn’t have to wait for Dad, then Wee Sister (who still lives at home) and possibly Mom to read it before I could. I could have ordered a copy for me, but I’ve managed to wait on Dad and Wee Sister for all the other books, so there was no reason to spend the money.

  7. Anonymous

    Never a reader of the series here. Decided I probably should be. So I order the first two off amazon (used) for under $10 total. So while I’m not helping boost the figures you reference above, I am part of the trend of buying all the old ones. Now if only I can read them all before someone spoils the last two books for me (I’ve seen all the movies).

  8. Anonymous

    My wife is feverishly trying to finish it before she has to start a writing project this weekend coming up. I haven’t bothered to start reading it yet.

  9. Anonymous

    I bought it the day after it came out for $20 and read it over the weekend. A good read, worth the money. Now that the entire series is out I may sit down and read through all the books together.

    I like the series but I’m glad its over. Most of the hype (at least for the kids it seems) is over.

  10. Anonymous

    I also pre-ordered from Amazon and had it delivered to my door on release day.

    When the delivery man came, I was still in bed and by the time I got downstairs he was back in his van and starting to pull away. I ran out in the pouring rain with bare feet and he very kindly stopped and gave me my parcel.

    I finished the book early on Saturday afternoon and then phoned my brother to gloat.

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