March 27th was a wonderful day. The Harry Potter e-books were finally for sale! After some trepidation about whether or not people would be able to calculate the revenue that the e-books were bringing in, Pottermore CEO Charlie Redmayne had released some amazing news. The e-book sales were worth “over $1M” in the first three days following the March 27 publication. Redmayne said that “sales were ahead of the firm’s expectations prior to launch date”.
Courtesy of TheBookSeller, Redmayne calculated some total figures surrounding the 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.”
Redmayne did not reveal the most popular selling single story, but rather the top selling feature was the “bundle” package, which includes the entire HP set at a discounted price. If you have not already purchased your Harry Potter e-books, you can do so here. We will continue to bring updates as we receive them regarding the e-books. I already purchased mine, have you? Happy Easter to all who celebrate, and if you don’t then Happy Sunday!