Scholastic has ordered a record-breaking US first printing of 12 million copies of J.K. Rowling’s seventh and last instalment of the Harry Potter series.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will break the previous record set by its predecessor when it is released at 12:01 a.m. on July 21. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince sold 6.9 million copies within 24 hours of being on shelves.
Scholastic begins its massive marketing and promotion push for the last book in the boy wizard series on April 17 with the 7 Questions of Harry Potter campaign. The publisher will release one question every two weeks for fans to debate and discuss online and through book clubs. The questions will be based on what fans want answered in the last book.
On June 2, seven weeks prior to publication, Scholastic is kicking off the Knight Bus National Tour where a heavily Potter-branded bus will stop at 40 libraries in 10 cities, collecting video thoughts from fans about Harry and co. The videos will then be uploaded to www.scholastic.com/harrypotter.
On the retail side of things, expect to see collectible bookmarks and table-top easels branded with the ‘There Will Soon Be 7′ motto, as well as millions of temporary tattoos and giveaways at numerous Harry Potter midnight release parties. Online, Scholastic is launching a bevy of promotional material to keep the hype buzzing at www.scholastic.com/harrypotter, including forums, trivia contests and polls.