The Australian, 06/16/03:
Potter bigger than the Bible?
Superlatives are spilling over as the world braces for the biggest book launch in history – but does the magic still work? In a book called The Da Vinci Code, currently the hottest title in the US, an author talks reverently about "the ultimate bestseller of all time."
"Harry Potter?" his editor asks.
"The Bible," the author replies.
It might not always be so. This Saturday Harry's creator, JK Rowling, will make publishing history with the largest single print run ever seen. About 13 million hardback copies of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the fifth in the series, will roll off the presses.
The US is getting 8.5 million and Britain 2.5 million. Australia will get 700,000. That's just for the English-language version, twice as many foreign-language copies will follow. By the time the book has been in paperback for four years it could challenge the King James Bible as the most popular book in global circulation.