Harry We Hardly Knew Ye

I was already digging around in Lexis so I did a search for pre-millennial Harry Potter stories. Here’s part of a 1998 Newsweek write-up:

In England, where it was published last year, “Harry” has been a hit, selling a whopping 150,000 copies and winning a British Book Award and a Smarties Prize, sort of a Booker Prize for children’s literature. (Adults as well as kids have taken to the book. Rowling’s British publisher recently issued a second edition with a more grown-up cover, so older readers wouldn’t be embarrassed to carry “Harry.”) The American rights to the book were purchased by Scholastic Books for more than $ 100,000, the most ever paid for a first-time author’s children’s book.

150k copies? $100k for the rights? My sweet lord.