Scholastic is printing 4.5m copies of playscript Harry Potter and the Cursed Child for the North American market, in the midst of record-breaking pre-sales ahead of its global release on 31st July.
Little, Brown, the UK's publisher for the playscript, has declined to give details of its print run, but excitement has been mounting as booksellers globally prepare to usher in the release with parties and midnight openings, and, based on pre-orders, Waterstones tipped the book as the biggest book launch since the release of the seventh Harry Potter title nearly a decade ago.
Barnes & Noble echoed the sentiment on Monday (25th July), saying that the playscript by Jack Thorne is the company’s most pre-ordered book since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in 2007 and that the company expects it to be its "biggest selling book of the year".
Rachel Coun, executive marketing director and global brand management at Scholastic, told Publishers Weekly it was "a huge, celebratory moment", having worked on the Harry Potter series from the beginning, and the playscript, featuring grown-up Harry, Hermione and Ron and their children, will appeal to "older adult fans and kids who grew up reading the first seven books as well as to a new generation of readers".
The global on-sale date of the playscript has been in place since fourth in the series The Goblet of Fire was released, according to Coun, so that “everybody gets to experience the magic at the same time”. She also revealed "the same extraordinary security measures" were being put in place to stop the manuscript leaking ahead of schedule.
Rave reviews of the play, opening on 30th July at the Palace Theatre in London, went online yesterday (26th July), hailing playwright Thorne, director John Tiffany and original author JK Rowling's stage magic "a triump" and "a dazzling duel of light and dark" to four and five star approval.
The seven-book Harry Potter series has sold 450m copies worldwide.