For everyone who has ever contemplated dreams that seems a long shot, I cam across some good perspective comments today via Richard Russell's Remarks:
” The latest Harry Potter book is out, selling a sensational 8.3 million copies in the first 24 hours. The Potter series has made the formerly penniless (now 41 years old) Joanne Kathleen Rowling, a billionaire. The Potter series has been translated into 66 languages including Mandarin, Lithuanian and Arabic.
The First Potter book was shopped around to a number of London publishers but Rowling was told that there was no market for a 300-page book about wizards. Bloomsbury Press, a secondary publisher, took the book and gave Rowling a $4,000 advance. The first printing in 1997 was for 500 copies. By the way, first editions now sell for upwards of $40,000. Later things looked brighter, Scholastic paid $105,000 for the US rights and retitled the book, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone” with a first printing of 50,000.
So far, 325 million copies of the Potter books have been sold, worldwide. Only the Holy Bible and Quotations of Chairman Mao have sold more. Ironically, bookstores have done poorly with the newest Potter Book. The price is $35 but Amazon is selling discounted copies for $18. Many book stores are not carrying the book — “It isn't worth the trouble, and it causes too much confusion and noisy traffic. “