The Harry Potter and the Cursed Child playscript has sold 680,000 print copies in the UK in its first three days of sale, according to Little, Brown – making it the fastest-selling book in a decade.
In the three days since publication, it has already beaten the biggest single week of sales for any title this decade, which was Fifty Shades of Grey in 2012, with 664,478 print copies sold.
If it continues to sell at this rate, it will be the second biggest-selling single week for one title since records began, with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as the first, which sold 1.8m copies plus 780,000 units of the adult edition in its launch week in July 2007. The first Nielsen BookScan figures will be published next week (Tuesday 9th August). With the 680,000 print figure alone, indications are the market’s volume could be boosted 21% week-on-week.
Pottermore, which is selling the e-book of the playscript, alongside partners including Amazon and Blackwell's, declined to give exact figures, but said sales in the first 48 hours from the Pottermore Shop and its partner retailers “greatly exceeded our expectations”.
In the US, publisher Scholastic said the title had sold 2m copies in the first 48 hours from an initial print run of 4.5m copies, which the company said was "unprecedented" for a playscript.
The play, written by Jack Thorne and based on an original story by J K Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, opened in London’s West End last Saturday (July 30th) and the script went on sale at midnight on Sunday 31st July to great fanfare, with 170 bookshops holding midnight openings.
Waterstones book chain held over 140 midnight openings across its estate, and the company’s buying director Kate Skipper said the title was its biggest selling hardback since Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol (Corgi) in 2009.
Skipper said: “Our sales for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child script book have been phenomenal; we saw our biggest first day figures since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released in 2007 and after just two days’ sales Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is already our biggest-selling hardback since Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol in 2009. By the end of this first week, we expect to exceed The Lost Symbol sales and to match the lifetime sales of our bestselling script book ever, An Inspector Calls by J. B. Priestley. There's no doubt about it; this will be our biggest book of the year.”
In total the Harry Potter books have sold 32 million copies in the UK and made over £250m. Over a quarter of the total value of the Top 50 bestselling books of all time has been brought in by the Potter series.