9:30 am EDT, April 5, 2012

‘Harry Potter’ eBook sales surpass predictions, top £1 million in three days

Surpassing the Pottermore CEO’s predictions, the Harry Potter eBooks (which became available last Tuesday) had £1 million in sales over the first three days.

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The Bookseller listened in on a recent interview with CEO Charlie Redmayne and calculated some numbers:

Pottermore’s Harry Potter e-book sales were worth “over £1m” in the first three days following publication on 27th March, the business’ chief executive Charlie Redmayne has revealed. Speaking to Radio Litopia’s “The Naked Book” yesterday evening (4th April), Redmayne said sales in the first three days were ahead of what the firm had expected prior to launch, and also ahead of “anything I’ve ever seen for e-book sales”.

The number means that the digital versions of the Harry Potter titles may have out-sold their print equivalents during that launch week. According to Nielsen BookScan, the seven Harry Potter print books brought in £36,000 in sales across bookshops that week, with total spending on the books so far this year at £588,000, but the worldwide figure would be much bigger. In the UK in 2011 the backlist titles brought in sales of £4m, from sales of 530,000 individual books sold. In the US Nielsen BookScan measured 1.6m units of the Potter books sold in 2011.

Redmayne said: “We had budgeted for a much lower figure, I had looked at the physical sales of the books, and tried to anticipate what proportion of sales would be digital, and that there was a certain amount of pent-up demand, but it surpassed anything we anticipated.” He said post-launch the figure had “settled down” but continued to exceed predictions. “It is still running at a much higher rate than I was anticipating, even for the launch. It is still surpassing anything I’ve ever seen for e-book sales.”

We hope to continue getting numbers to see how the eBooks perform. Redmayne would not reveal which particular Potter eBook was selling the best, but we imagine it to be Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone or Deathly Hallows.

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