John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Incendio! Pottermore E-Book Sales on Fire.

The digital versions of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books are among the most pirated in the world. So now that Pottermore’s e-bookstore has made them legally available for purchase, how are they selling? Quite well, according to Pottermore CEO Charlie Redmayne.

During an interview with Radio Litopia’s “The Naked Book” Wednesday afternoon, Redmayne said Pottermore sold more than $1.5 million worth of Harry Potter books in the store’s first three days online.

Which sounds pretty good considering how long the books have been available in stores and via torrent. Indeed, PaidContent, which has done the math (and was first to note Redmayne’s remarks), figures that at an average selling price of $9.13, some 164,000 Potter books were sold over those three days.

Which was far more than Redmayne or anyone at Pottermore had expected. “We had budgeted for a much lower figure,” Redmayne said. “I had looked at the physical sales of the books, and tried to anticipate what digital sales might be like, figuring that there was a certain amount of pent-up demand. But it surpassed anything we anticipated.”

And even now, a week after Pottermore’s debut, sales continue to astound. “They’re still running at a much higher rate than I was anticipating,” Redmayne explained. “They’re still surpassing anything I’ve ever seen for e-book sales. … Everything that Harry Potter does surpasses expectations.”

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik