Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is on track to be the fastest selling book this decade, with the script book shifting approximately 170,000 copies in Australia alone since it’s release on Sunday. Though official figures will not be released until next week, that is a staggering figure, but will come as no surprise to those still chasing a copy, with many stores across the country sold out and awaiting new stock.
To put those 170,000 copies into perspective, in 2015 only five books sold over 170,000 copies and that was for the entire year. Harry Potter and The Cursed Child has managed that total in 3 days. Louise Sherwin-Stark, the Managing Director of Hachette Australia said “This is a phenomenal number and makes Harry Potter and The Cursed Child the biggest book in the Australian market since Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows in 2007, and the fastest selling script book ever”.
In a throwback to the release of other books in the series, over 100 bookshops around Australia threw launch parties for the new book on Sunday, with plenty of customers arriving in their finest robes. It’s pretty clear that Harry Potter fever is still alive and well in Australia and overseas, with a further 250,000 tickets for the stage show set to go on sale tomorrow.
Despite the huge sales figures coming through, there was some initial scepticism from retailers as to whether a script book would have the same appeal as a new “Harry” novel from J.K Rowling. Mark Rubbo, Managing Director of Readings Bookshop said, “As booksellers, we were initially sceptical about whether fans would embrace a play script. We shouldn’t have been!” and John Purcell the chief buyer for Booktopia admitted, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child exceeded our expectations”; though despite their initial cautiousness Booktopia ended up placing their largest single-title bulk order of 6,000 books (and still sold out).
The book has been receiving plenty of positive reviews in the press, the Sydney Morning Herald has called it “magic galore” whilst the Sydney Herald described it as a “grand reunion with old friends”. Though that hasn’t stopped a few disgruntled fans taking to the Internet to complain, despite it never being advertised as such & despite J.K. Rowling’s warning tweets, that the Cursed Child was not a novel, but a script!.
Harry Potter and The Cursed Child Parts One and Two is out now through Little Brown / Hachette Australia. The special rehearsal edition will be available until early 2017 at which point a definitive version will be released.