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Hamburg (dpa) - An estimated 1 million copies of J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" were sold within hours in Germany as the German translation of the children's publishing sensation went on sale, the publisher said Sunday.
Carlsen, the Hamburg publishing house that shipped 2 million copies to German booksellers, said it was too early to issue exact sales figures, but spokeswoman Katrin Hogrebe said anecdotal accounts from the shops suggested "1 million in the first 24 hours is likely".
Potter-mania is rife in Germany. When the English-language edition was launched on July 16, Germans snapped up a million copies. That put the English-language edition at the top of the Der Spiegel bestsellers list - ahead of all German-language titles.
Many bookshops held sorcery parties Friday evening to build excitement before the official midnight launch of the sixth book in the seven-volume series, and some children began reading it long after they should have been in bed.
Parcel services delivered 240,000 mail-ordered copies early Saturday for the Amazon online bookshop and 100,000 for the Weltbild book club.
At the nationwide bookshop chain Hugendubel, a spokesman in Frankfurt said branches reported stronger initial sales than for the fifth title in the series.
Copyright 2005 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH