By Jack Linshi
February 3, 2015

To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee is set to publish her first book in 55 years this summer, and many in the literary world are rejoicing.

The legendary one-book writer decided to end her career as a novelist to avoid the publicity she faced following Mockingbird‘s massive success, which included a Pulitzer Prize and an Academy Award-winning film adaptation. Mockingbird’s popularity means it’s no surprise that the sequel, Go Set a Watchman (which Lee wrote in the 1950s but set aside), will have a first printing of 2,000,000 copies.

That’s a massive number for a first printing, which represents a publisher’s estimate for a book’s immediate demand. It’s even more notable considering Watchman isn’t part of a beloved fantasy or thriller series, which often see high first printing counts.

Here’s how Watchman‘s first printing stacks up against other heavily hyped novels, from the final books of the Harry Potter and Hunger Games series, to last year’s Pulitzer winner The Goldfinch.

It’s also worth noting just how much the popularity of Lee and these other authors have grown: Lee’s Mockingbird had a first printing of about 5,000, while J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book — get ready — had a first printing of only 500.

 

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