Date: 22nd May 2003
Bookseller Amazon has announced the fifth instalment in the Harry Potter series is on course to become the most popular book it has ever sold.
More than 875,000 orders have been placed worldwide on Amazon's websites for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
In the UK alone more than 250,000 orders have been placed ahead of its release on 21 June.
This figure is nearly four times as many pre-orders that were taken for the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the fourth in the series which was published in 2000.
With a month still remaining until its highly anticipated release, Amazon predicts it will become the largest distribution of any single item in e-commerce history.
Amazon media director Greg Hart said: "We always knew demand for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix would be phenomenal, especially after we took 30,000 pre-orders in the first 24 hours but we have never seen anything like this."
Experts predict the book will break all sales records in the US when it is released, as publisher Scholastic embarks on its most extensive ever marketing campaign, shipping 8.5 million books to shops.
Stores will also hold midnight openings to ensure dedicated fans are among the first to get their hands on a copy.
The four previous Harry Potter books have sold 200 million copies in 55 languages.
Source: Press Release