Facts show: We're wild about `Harry'

`Half-Blood Prince' coming in 13 days

For the Record

July 03, 2005|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

OK, count with us: Only 13 more days until the release of J.K Rowling's sixth (and possibly penultimate) blockbuster book about an adolescent wizard: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. That means there's still time for a few fast facts about the new book and the series:

Rowling's only U.S. media appearances coinciding with the Half-Blood Prince's release will be a taped interview on NBC's Today show and an interview with Time magazine. For the midnight July 16 release, Rowling will do a reading at Scotland's Edinburgh Castle in front of 70 young fans selected by newspapers in England and several other countries (but not the United States). The fans will be given books and will act as journalists for a kids-only news conference with Rowling.

Tight security over the book's release has led to some attempts to break the embargo. The London tabloid The Sun reported that thieves offered to sell it a purloined copy of the book three weeks ago, and that when its reporter arrived, gunfire broke out. Two men were arrested. The Sun said it had planned to turn the book over to authorities, and Rowling has since obtained an injunction barring anyone from violating the embargo in England.

Earlier, British bookmakers suspended bets on which character would be killed off in the new book after they noticed a flurry of bets on Professor Dumbledore from gamblers in Bungay in Suffolk, where the book is being printed, suggesting details had leaked out.

The Harry Potter franchise has been one of the most successful in publishing history. After the first five of a planned seven books, there are more than 270 million copies in print worldwide, more than 103 million in the United States alone. This month's release of the sixth book will add nearly 11 million copies to that total. The books have been translated into 62 languages. The following numbers, from publisher Scholastic, are for the United States only:

1998: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, 309 pages, 50,000 initial print run, 26 million in print

1999: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 341 pages, 250,000 first printing, 24 million in print

1999: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, 435 pages, 500,000 first printing, 19 million in print

2000: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 734 pages, 3.8 million first printing, 18 million in print

2003: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 870 pages, 8.5 million first printing, 16 million in print

2005: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, 672 pages, 10.8 million announced first printing

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