In what it is claiming to be one of the largest sales and distribution events in e-commerce history, Amazon.com teamed up with FedEx to deliver 250,000 copies of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" to customers nationwide on Saturday, July 8, the first day the book was available to the public. Seattle-based Amazon.com and FedEx provided complimentary Saturday delivery upgrades by FedEx Home Delivery and FedEx Express for the first 250,000 orders placed via the Amazon.com Web site. To deliver this "unprecedented" number of books, 100 regularly scheduled FedEx flights, 9,000 FedEx delivery personnel and vehicles from 700 stations were mobilized from Amazon.com distribution centers, the company says.
The following statistics showcase the immense level of this distribution event: "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" weighs in at 2.7 pounds per copy. To date, Amazon.com says it has shipped approximately 675,000 pounds (more than 300 tons) of the book. At 752 pages per copy, Amazon.com delivered more than 188 million pages, and at 9-1/4 inches in length, the Amazon.com/FedEx Harry Potter shipment would span 36 miles if lined up end-to-end, it adds. In addition, as of 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, July 8, a total of 350,020 copies of the book had been advance-ordered on Amazon.com, making the title the retailer's largest pre-order ever, it says. One of the most popular books in publishing history, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" remained No. 1 on Amazon.com's bestseller list for 17 out of the last 23 weeks, all prior to the book's actual release date. It received more than eight times the number of advance orders received for the third Harry Potter book, with 40,000 orders, or for the second highest pre-order total at Amazon.com, John Grisham's "The Brethren," at 43,000 orders, says the company.