Harry Potter again sets Amazon.com sales record

When the latest Harry Potter book went on sale at 12 a.m. Saturday, Amazon.com Inc. immediately set a record for its largest-ever new product release.

In an announcement Monday, Seattle-based Amazon.com said it began delivering more than 789,000 copies of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix to readers across the country via the U.S. Postal Service and FedEx Corp. as soon as the book was released.

An Amazon.com spokesman couldn't be reached for comment this morning.

More than 1.3 million copies of the fifth book about the young wizard had been advance-ordered on Amazon.com sites worldwide, which is more than any other product in Amazon's eight-year history. The previous Amazon record was for the fourth book in the series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which had more than 410,000 advance orders worldwide.

The 789,000 advance-ordered copies of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix were more than double the 350,000 advance orders received for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the online retailer said.

Amazon.com provided free Saturday delivery upgrades to customers who ordered the book between Jan. 15 and June 17 and paid for standard shipping. Those books were delivered to customers Saturday.

The latest book weighs 2.8 pounds, meaning Amazon processed more than 2.2 million pounds (more than 1,100 tons) of packages just from this book.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix shot to No. 1 on Amazon.com's Books bestseller list within just two hours of becoming available for advance order on Jan. 15, and has been the online retailer's best-selling book since that time, according to the company.

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Todd R. Weiss

Computerworld
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