Bookplanet: Harry Potter chews up trees
Scholastic plans a first printing of 10.8m copies of the latest of the J. K. Rowling books, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." That figure represents 4m copies more than were initially printed when the last Potter adventure was released, in 2003. The total might also be a record for first printings of a hardcover general-interest book, although there are few authoritative sources to confirm that. Publishers routinely overstate the number of copies in a first printing, and the rule of thumb is to divide an announced first printing by two to get the real number. But Scholastic's estimate is probably closer to reality. In 2003, it printed 6.8m copies of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" in the first run, and 5m of those sold on the first day. That was because of the large volume of pre-orders, a phenomenon that is recurring this time. "We are hearing from our accounts that the pre-orders are phenomenal," Barbara Marcus, the president of Scholastic, said. I get a total kick out of a writer making this much jingle. Pen-pushers can get on that Forbes list, too. You go, J.K. girl.