New Harry Potter title is released
Author J.K. Rowling announces name for seventh, and last, book in popular series; Borders taking orders.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The wait may almost be over for Harry Potter fans. Author J.K. Rowling announced Thursday the name of the seventh, and final, book in the series about the popular boy wizard.
The book will be called "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." Rowling made the announcement on her Web site. Scholastic (Charts), the children's book publisher that has the rights to sell the book in the U.S., said no publication date has been set.
But for what it's worth, when Rowling announced the title of the sixth book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," in June 2004, the book wound up going on sale a little more than a year later, in July 2005.
Sean Sundwall, a spokesman for leading e-commerce firm Amazon.com (Charts), said that consumers can go to the Harry Potter store on Amazon's site and sign up to get more information about buying the book once a price and release date is announced.
Book retailer Borders Group (Charts) also has already set up a page on its Web site that lets people submit their e-mail addresses so they can get updates about when "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" will be published.
Anne Roman, a spokeswoman for Borders, said the retailer is also taking reservations in its stores and actually has been doing so since Dec. 8. She would not say how many people have already made reservations to order the book.
Barnes and Noble (Charts) is also letting people register online so they can have information about the book e-mailed to them. But Carolyn Brown, a spokeswoman for Barnes and Noble, said the retailer is not accepting reservations at its stores.
"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" set several publishing records upon its release, selling 6.9 million copies in its first day in the U.S. and 10 million copies worldwide. British publisher Bloomsbury publishes English-language versions of the Potter series in most markets outside the U.S.
Potter has made Rowling a billionaire, according to figures from Forbes magazine. And the series has been a huge financial boon to Scholastic. According to the company, there are 121 million copies of the first six Potter books in print in the United States alone.
As such, shares of Scholastic gained more than 2 percent Thursday. The company announced better-than-expected earnings earlier this week and reaffirmed its sales and profit targets for 2007. The company did not say, however, if a new Potter book would be released in 2007.
However, many Potter fans have expressed hope that the final book could be released in July 2007. The previous few books have been released on Saturdays and July 7, 2007 falls on a Saturday. Given that "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" will be the seventh book, some see 7/7/07 as a prime date to release it.
The first four Potter movies have grossed a combined $1.1 billion in the U.S. and $3.5 billion worldwide, according to figures from Box Office Mojo, a movie industry research firm.
A movie based on the fifth book, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" is scheduled to hit theaters on July 13.