Harry Potter eBooks and audiobooks had a spellbinding 2019

14th January 2020

The series continues to be one of the most read across the globe.

2019 was another notable year for the Harry Potter series in eBook and digital audiobook formats. In the US, the run-up to Christmas saw the whole Harry Potter series feature in Amazon’s most-read top ten, which looks at the average number of daily Kindle readers and Audible listeners.

Audible even ran a state-by-state trend analysis of listeners in the US. You probably didn’t know that Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was the most popular audiobook in West Virginia. Or that Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets topped the list in Utah!

In the UK, Harry Potter took four of the five spots in Amazon’s most-read chart for the year with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix as the most read. The fifth title in the series is consistently the most popular in languages across the world, showing how keen readers are to make their way through the complete story.

In addition, the Harry Potter series took the top seven spots in Google’s eBook chart over the summer. This was partly due to the excitement around new non-fiction publishing and a new eBook series of four titles called A Journey Through… which took an in-depth look into the artefacts covered by Pottermore’s Harry Potter: A History of Magic audiobook. Overdrive reported that Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was in the top five most popular digital audiobooks borrowed from libraries as well as being the most-borrowed eBook in the children’s fiction category. And, at Christmas, Apple Books revealed the series made up seven of their top ten audiobooks of 2019 so it seems that, whatever the season, Harry Potter is good all year round!

It’s not just the UK and US – Pottermore Publishing makes its catalogue available in over 200 countries around the world.

In Sweden, J.K. Rowling was Storytel’s most listened-to author in 2019, with three of the Harry Potter titles in their top ten children’s books. Narrator Björn Kjellman reflected on his experiences narrating the series in this interview given during their 20th Anniversary celebrations.

In Finland, Harry Potter titles make up all ten of the top ten audiobook titles for Bookbeat. How? Well the first seven slots are Harry Potter books 1-7 in Finnish and then it’s books 5, 4 and 7 in English!

In Norway, Storytel celebrated the 20th anniversary of the series by creating a Harry Potter listening tent and lounge as part of their booth at the children’s festival,  Miniøyas. Korea also celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2019, where Pottermore Publishing worked with Ridibooks and Kyobo on a fantastic campaign. And, in Japan, Audible kicked off their 20th anniversary celebrations in December by launching a Harry Potter listening station on their site. In it, customers could revisit the first four chapters of Philosopher’s Stone.

It looks like 2020 is going to be just as busy, with new audio versions of the Harry Potter 1-7 series coming in Brazilian Portuguese and Bulgarian (both territories are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the series in their languages this year), Dutch, and other languages still to be announced.




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