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May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor

The Hunger Games Takes Harry Potter’s Place As Amazon’s Best-Selling Book Series Ever


The Girl on Fire has defeated the Boy Wizard in a battle for the ages! Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games trilogy has now outsold all seven of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books to become Amazon.com’s best-selling book. And the odds weren’t even in their favor! 

Amazon had previously announced that Collins herself was Kindle’s best-selling author. Something we pondered at the time was the fact Rowling had no yet allowed for the release of Harry Potter ebooks. That all changed in March when her long-awaited Pottermore opened to the public. You could download Harry Potter ebooks onto any reader but the selling power remained with Rowling’s website. Things changed again in May when the author struck a deal with Amazon to make the novels available through their lending library.

But the news today is that Collins has overcome Rowling not just in ebook sales but print as well. And frankly, I’m pretty shocked, mostly because of the simplest reason.

“Interestingly, this series is only three books versus Harry Potter’s seven, and to achieve this result in just four years is a great testament to both the popularity of the work and, we think, the growth in reading digitally during that time,” Amazon Editorial Director Sara Nelson told the Wall Street Journal.

THG also beats Potter’s numbers in Amazon’s lending library as well but no exact figures were given out for either.

What do you attribute this seemingly bizarre win to? Collins’ work has certainly captivated a lot of people but from where I’m sitting, it has yet to become the international phenomena Rowling’s series has. Of course this is just information from one retailer but it’s definitely something to think about.

(via Wall Street Journal)

Previously in The Hunger Games

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  • http://twitter.com/a_wordsmith A. A. Omer

    Wasn’t the Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy reported to have out sold the Harry Potter Franchise?  Does that mean Hunger Games out sold Fifty Shades of Grey too?

  • Anonymous

    I’d say the reason is timing. Amazon wasn’t very big (or existing at all?) when HP first came out and through the beginning of its fandom, but it was large and in charge for HG, and probably was the retailer of choice just because of the ereaders and lack of physical bookstores.

  • Anonymous

    That was my first thought too. The Harry Potter books were first published 1997-2007, the Hunger Games books were first published 2008-2010. I bought the HP books at physical bookstores. 

  • Anonymous

    As much as I love the Hunger Games, I think the reason for this is timing. The Hunger Games has simply been 
    available for ereaders a lot longer. Another reason is that so many people have the physical Harry Potter books, I know that’s the reason I haven’t downloaded them. 

  • Anonymous

    Agreed. I think this has more to do with the timing than the popularity of the series. Amazon is huge now (especially for books) and even though you could order your HP books on Amazon, it was much more fun to go to the midnight-release or the next day during the release-party.

    Also…is it fair to compare 3 books to 7 books? 

  • Sarah Wynde

    Agreed. People bought books in bookstores when HP came out. Ebooks weren’t available. And by about the third or the fourth book, there were those midnight release parties — I have fond memories of taking my kid and my nephew to B&N and trying to keep them awake until we could get out books and go home. Ordering from Amazon back then meant you had to wait a couple days to get the book shipped. They’ve changed that since then, but I’m sure they lost out on millions of sales in the early days of HP because of shipping.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2FWBF4JECEUSJKVW3I6WPD36DE Fran

    I hope it means people are reading more.

  • http://twitter.com/whereztati Tati Mesfin

    I don’t know how I feel about this. :-/  But hey, if HP had to be beat, I’m glad it was by a very worthy contender! 

  • Anonymous

    Truth. I love you JK, but I’m not buying the same book twice.

  • Anonymous

    :)

  • http://www.wulfmojo.com Wulfy

    Even if it might be on a technicality (is it tho? I’m sure I was buying books off Amazon in the 90′s) this makes me really happy. From what I’ve seen of Harry Potter it’s decent, but hardly amazing fantasy fiction. Nice to see a series with a bit more intelligence and heart taking it’s spot.

  • Anonymous

    I believe you’re thinking of the announcement that Fifty Shades is the bestselling series ever in Britain (but The Guardian does say it did outsell HP on Amazon): http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/aug/07/erotic-book-fifty-shades-british-bestseller

    This announcement is for Amazon.com only, and possibly just in the US — I don’t the source article mentioned if they were only counting the US or international sales, too.

  • Anonymous

    Harry Potter is a classic (I am sure of this, even though the last book only came out 5 years ago). My kids will at the very least be exposed to the story — if they hate it, obviously I wouldn’t force it down their throats, but I might get a DNA test done. I can’t say the same for the Hunger Games. I loved the first book, and the series is definitely good, but it’s not on the same level. I think a lot of people feel this way. The technological revolution seems to be the deciding factor right now for TGH taking over HP in ebook sales, but my guess is that this is probably temporary. People will still be buying HP ebooks in 10, 20, 30 years.

  • http://profiles.google.com/josephfinn Joseph Finn

    So is this real books only or including those e-document thingies?