Order of the Phoenix | thebereancall.org

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TBC Staff

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(AP) NEW YORK (February 11, 2003 5:18 p.m. EST) : The record price and epic length of the new "Harry Potter" novel hasn't stopped the publisher from expecting extraordinary sales: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, hitting bookstores June 21, has a first printing of 6.8 million.

"The demand at retail and pre-orders by customers for the new Harry Potter book have been absolutely phenomenal," Barbara Marcus, president of Scholastic Children's Books, said in a statement Tuesday. 

J.K. Rowling's previous Potter novel, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," came out in July 2000 with a first printing of 3.8 million. It sold out within 48 hours and now has over l6 million copies in print. 

Expected sales for "Order of the Phoenix," which for weeks has topped the bestseller lists of Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com, overwhelm even the most popular novels. Michael Crichton's Prey, released last fall, had a first printing of 1.5 million. Last year's publishing sensation, Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones, has just under 2.4 million copies in print. 

Last week, Scholastic announced a $29.99 suggested retail price for Order of the Phoenix, almost surely the highest ever for a new work of children's fiction. Rowling's novel, the fifth in her Potter series, is expected to run about 900 pages. 

Meanwhile, a "deluxe" edition of Order of the Phoenix, priced at $60, will have a first printing of 350,000, far more copies than most conventional publications. The deluxe edition includes "a full-case cloth cover with gold embossing which will slide into a special slip box." 

TBC: “Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus:19:31).