Harry Potter fans, rejoice -- it seems there's little to fear at launch time. Scholastic
Scholastic said that it will print up to 10.8 million copies of the tome, an all-time record. Indeed, as USA Today pointed out, Harry Potter books keep upping the ante. The article pointed out that the new book's predecessor, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, had an initial print run of 6.8 million. It's way beyond the 50,000 books printed for the initial print run of the original installment, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, back in 1998.
The company said that this is a record-breaking initial print run. A print run 4 million stronger than last time suggests that preorders have been strong, and that bodes well for all involved in Harry Potter mania. It certainly helps lay to rest the idea that maybe the series is losing some juice. Indeed, the next several months should be chock-full of marketing fanfare as we count down the remaining days till publication.
The huge printing isn't surprising. We all remember the phenomenon back in 2003 -- the books were put on reserve far in advance, and all manner of parties and gatherings at bookstores included crowd mayhem, costumed kiddies, and so forth. We can likely expect more of the same around July 16.
Harry Potter launches have been kind not just to Scholastic. They've also been a boon to booksellers like Borders
From an investment point of view, we've often opined that while Harry Potter is the jewel in Scholastic's crown, the publisher hasn't had too much else going on between Potter books. However, the company recently reported a quarterly loss that was narrower than anticipated, and that gives reason to suspect that its initiatives to cut costs and work on margins are coming to fruition.
That's all well and good, but there's still the importance of having enough channels to bring about sales growth. For a while now, Scholastic's relationship with Harry Potter has been strongly reminiscent of a one-trick pony. And as much as the series is a tremendous perk when it comes around every few years to boost sales and earnings, we already know that Harry Potter won't live forever. All things must pass.
For more on the Potter phenom, check out these pieces from the Fool archives:
- The Harry Potter Effect
- Hogwarts and All for Scholastic
- Scholastic's Hero Harry
- Welcome Back, Potter
Will Harry and Hermione end up together, or is there budding romance between Ron and Hermione? Was Harry behaving like a downright jerk in the last installment in the series? Talk to other Fools about these issues and all other things Potter on our Sirius Black's Muggle Friends discussion board, only on Fool.com.
Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. She, too, is eagerly awaiting the next installment in the Harry Potter series.